To buy the textbook, or not to buy the textbook

Genevieve Beatty
Guest Writer


Photo stevepb via

Buying textbooks is perhaps one of the greatest struggles of the modern college kid. But in my experience at LHU, I’ve learned a few tricks. As I press on toward graduation, I want you, gentle reader, to have my tips and tricks for buying books cheaply.

1. Plan ahead. If you know your book list 2ish weeks before school starts, you can order books online at the cheapest shipping rates.  The LHU bookstore website has a program where you can look up your books by class.

2. Use the ISBN.  The ISBN is the code for the SPECIFIC VERSION of the book you need. When you look for books online, enter the ISBN number instead of the title. Check with your professor if you find a cheaper edition/version of your text- often you need a specific edition for class.

3. Get Amazon Student. If you go to and enter your LHU email address, you qualify for Amazon Student. You get 6 months of free Amazon Prime- free 2-day shipping, Prime Video and more! After the trial period is over, you can get Prime at 50% off- $49/year.

4. Use the Bookstore. Our bookstore is awesome. But it won’t keep being awesome if we don’t support it. While the textbooks are pretty much the same price (or even cheaper!) at the bookstore versus online, make sure you support the bookstore. They employ students, provide convenience and are always there to help.


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5. Rent or Buy? If you can see yourself using this book as a reference in your future career/life, BUY IT. If you rent it, make sure to write down the due date. If your book is classic literature (like for an English class), see if you can rent it at a local library or download an ebook (for much cheaper).

6. About online codes. Textbooks with online codes are becoming a highly expensive thing, especially in the Science and Language departments at LHU. Before you despair, check outside vendors for the book. Sometimes you can get the book itself for super-cheap, and buy the access code separately on the website for the course. Always check with your professor to see if you’ll need the access code for the class.

Buying books doesn’t have to be painful as long as you plan ahead, know where and when to buy, and come up with creative solutions. Deep breaths. Graduation is coming…


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