Noshin Rahman is currently a first-year psychology student at Carleton University and has an intense passion for the social sciences. She loves to read, and blog book reviews and anything personal finance related. She enjoys spending her time wandering around the book shelves in libraries and drinking coffee on rainy days.

The awful part about going back to school after the winter break is having to purchase expensive textbooks after spending all your money on the two dozen Christmas gifts you bought for yourself from Amazon.

Buying your textbooks from the right places to save money is important, so you can continue to follow along with your studies and not break your wallet.

Price Comparison Sites

Sites like isbns.net are great for finding the cheapest price of a textbook online. Simply enter the ISBN or the title, and it will search the internet for all the different prices of that particular textbook.

Screenshot of isbns.net website.

I’ll use Feminism Matters as an example.

In September, it was listed for about $35 at Octopus Books, currently, it’s listed for $20.18 on Amazon as the cheapest price. That’s a whole $15 of savings, which might not sound like much, but every dollar adds up.

There are two things you have to keep in mind while using this site:

  1. It only really includes major online book retailers. So, it’s worth it to call or search the websites of small bookstores nearby, like Haven Books, and check their prices too (currently $20 at Haven).
  2. ISBNS often does not display eBook prices.

Buy the eBook

eBooks are usually much cheaper than a hard copy, Search for your textbook on the Google Play store or the Kobo store, you might just be able to save a whole lot of money. Don’t believe me? I’ll even show you my receipt.

google play receipt of ebook purchase

Only $15.86, that’s cheaper than the pair of Hello Kitty pajamas I bought for myself my younger cousin last Christmas.

Not only are eBooks cheap, they’re convenient too. You can sync an eBook to all your devices and open them up on your phone or laptop during class or lecture. Never again will you have to carry heavy textbooks around campus.

Public Domains

Sometimes, if you google “public domain (name of textbook)” you’ll find sites like Project Gutenberg that allows anyone, anywhere to legally download eBooks for free. Although, this usually only applies to older textbooks or books and essays that have historical significance. It might be a good idea to try this with textbooks from a course like Philosophy.