College is supposed to be a mecca for learning - a place where students can acquire the knowledge they need for their future careers. However, college is also a cash cow for certain businesses, and it can milk students dry of their hard-earned cash with items like expensive book requirements.
Books are not immune to the value that businesses place on them as a means of making money. Prices are set to company standards and can vary from the reasonable to the outrageous, depending on your budget. Luckily, there's the option of renting textbooks to help ease the strain on your bank account. Nonetheless, there are pros and cons in both cases. Here are some things to consider the next time you find yourself at your campus bookstore:
Buying your textbooks
Buying textbooks can be a real pain in the wallet, especially for science and math majors, whose books often rank among the most expensive to purchase. In spite of this fact, there is a benefit to buying your textbooks: you'll be able to mark up those bad boys with all of the notations you want or need. In addition, you also have a future guide of reference as you go further along in academia. Who knows? If you really enjoy the class (this is especially the case for English and other humanities majors), you'll have great reading material to keep on your bookshelf. In terms of pricing, if you don't like what your bookstore is offering, there are always online stores to turn to. You can compare prices and buy according to your needs. On the other hand, you can sell any unwanted books to the campus bookstore, or look to other retailers like Amazon, eBay, or BookScouter. You can also donate your college books once you've completed your course. Nothing feels better than donating to someone in need. Remember: this is only one option, so it's best to weigh all the pros and cons before moving forward with a decision.
Renting your textbooks
If you feel like the prices for your books will put a huge squeeze on your bank account, you can opt to rent. First and foremost, make sure that your books are available for rent at your campus bookstore. If not, don't fret - several online sites make it easier to find the books you need at a decent price. If you feel the need to annotate, just don't be too rough with them. Other people do need to use them, and it would help if every page wasn't altered beyond recognition. It's also good to remember to send them back at the end of the semester at the date at which they're due to avoid paying late fees.
Whichever option you choose, make sure you select the best one for your budget. You're paying enough for tuition, so why have your learning materials be another debt-creating entity?
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