The cost of required textbooks for classes can quickly add up. Every year, students cross their fingers and hope for a short book list, but the fact is, books are an integral part of learning. Fortunately, there are ways to buy textbooks at a fraction of the price. Saving money takes a little shopper’s know-how, and here are a few tips from the world’s best bargain basement consumers.

What Could Be Better than Cheap?
Better than cheap? The only better than cheap is free! You may be surprised to know that there are thousands of free books out there waiting to be read. How, you ask? Virtual libraries. Many virtual libraries offer reference material and other literature at no cost. Typically, if you are looking for a new book title, you will likely not find it in this way, but if the title is somewhat dated and the copyrights have expired, you should be successful in your search. There are a number of sites on the internet offering these services including The Internet Public Library, Bartleby, Google Scholar and Project Guttenberg. Some sites are better than others and you may need to do a little browsing, but spend the time looking for a free source before you shell out money on new material.

Second Hand does not mean Second Best
The oldest method of saving money when it comes to buying books is to buy second-hand books previously used by students. Check your school’s website to see if they have a message board for students. Every semester there are students trying to regain a little money by selling their used textbooks and who knows, maybe you’ll find just what you’re looking for. And speaking of second-hand, don’t forget to check used book stores, including university or college used book stores. Even if you don’t attend that particular school, you can still buy used textbooks there.

Don’t be Afraid to Price Compare
If you find you’re having a hard time finding cheap textbooks, why not try an online site that sells used textbooks? CompareTextbooks.com. is a service that will compile a list of stores near you that sell textbooks at varying prices. Don’t be afraid to price compare. You could also try eBay or their sister site Half.com. If you don’t need your used textbooks right away, these avenues may work well for you.

Saving Money Takes a Little Time, but is Well Worth it in the End!
Shopping around may not sound appealing to you, but if you are serious about saving money, then going the extra mile may be necessary. There are always cheap textbooks out there and all you have to do is look! Happy shopping.