Yes, we are a little obsessed with textbooks here in the library. Maybe because students have checked them out 12,397 times since school started in August!
We love it when students find their textbooks in the library catalog – we have ’em for nearly every class, as does the College Store. But there are multiple sources for textbooks, and one of the following services may fit a student’s particular situation more exactly. (Dutiful disclaimer: the following services may not save money and may require extra time.)
There are plenty of Internet bookstores. Amazon, Alibris, Textbooks.com, Half.com, and Borders are just a few that carry used textbooks. Students must make sure the book is the correct year and edition (use ISBN) and allow for shipping costs and time.
Chegg.com deals in rental textbooks, though prices may deter some. The 5th edition of Martin-Gay’s Intermediate Algebra is currently going for $55.49 for the semester (125 days), plus tax and shipping.
As an alternative to textbooks, you can save your students some cash by using open educational resources offered by the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources, or by assigning public domain full-text books available through Project Gutenberg, Bartleby, Google Books, or the Internet Archive.