Want to save money on textbooks? - Macleans.ca

Want to save money on textbooks?

Loose-leaf is the way to go

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Back in first year, I remember being shocked at how expensive university textbooks are. It seemed ridiculous to be paying hundreds of dollars for books that would be getting less than four months of use. And that I wouldn’t necessarily even enjoy reading.

In high school, textbooks are just something that your teacher uses to assign homework. It’s different in university. You spend hours with your textbooks every week, keeping up with readings, doing practice questions, finding quotes for an essay, or studying for an exam. They belong to you, and only you. You’ve known each other since the beginning, back when they were still covered in plastic wrap. It’s a special moment when you peel the plastic off and open a brand new textbook for the first time.

But it’s not a worth-hundreds-of-dollars kind of moment.

Buying textbooks second-hand is one common way to save money. Another solution: buying loose-leaf editions of textbooks. By sacrificing the spine and hard cover, I saved more than $70 on a loose-leaf edition of my biochemistry textbook this semester.

Buying a loose-leaf edition solves another textbook problem: instead of lugging around a 20-pound brick, I can remove all the pages I’m not using at the moment.

-photo courtesy of katerha