Books Shouldn’t Pile on Your $70K

Ankita Bhanot
In addition to the price of tuition, your textbooks can break the bank unless you buy smart.

At a school that charges $70,000 for tuition, we should not have spend so much money on textbooks. By the time we stock up on the required course reading, the price can total into triple digits. Luckily, there are many resources on campus and online that could help bring down the price.

Amazon

Amazon’s collection boasts thousands of books, and you should be able to find some of your course materials at discounted prices. For example, the Broadview Anthology of British Literature is priced at $57.95 at the NYU Bookstore, but only $30.99 on Amazon. For an even bigger discount, buy a used book instead of a new one. The used Broadview Anthology prices start at just $5.07. If you have Amazon Prime, your book could arrive in just one day.

Chegg

If you’re looking for another online option, Chegg is a thrifty place to look. The company is essentially like Amazon but just for textbooks, and the website claims that you can save up to 90 percent on books. Every book has a buy or rent option, and there are different price points based on how quickly you want your book to arrive.

Library

Our beloved Bobst Library is home to over four million books, including many of the textbooks that you need for class! A lot of students don’t think to use this resource, but you can check out the Bobst online catalog to search for your textbook or reading materials for class. It’s absolutely free to check out books if you’re a current student, and many rentals can be renewed for up to four months, which should cover you for an entire semester.

Other Students

There are more than 60,000 other students on campus—you should use them as a resource! In addition to directly asking your upperclassmen friends, try posting in the popular NYU “Free and For Sale” Facebook group, which has over 17,000 members, or the “NYU Textbook Exchange” Facebook group, which has over 3,000 members. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to get at least a few of your books at a discounted price.

Online PDFs

This might be a bit of a gamble, but sometimes textbooks appear online if you search their title followed by PDF. Try this if you aren’t required to bring the textbook to class every day, or if you just need it as an occasional reference.

NYU Bookstore

If all else fails, you might have to resort to getting your textbooks from our bookstore. But there are still ways to save! Instead of buying your textbook, rent it, which can significantly bring down the cost. Many of the rental machines within the bookstore also have a price comparison tool, which shows competitors’ prices. Finally, the bookstore also offers a buy back option at the end of the year, where you can get back up to 50 percent of the book’s selling price.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, September 6 print edition. Email Ankita Bhanot at [email protected]

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