Textbook Alternatives

By Janardan Bautista

Tuition for college costs money.  A lot of money.  But for some reason beyond my comprehension, textbook expenses aren’t covered in the thousands of dollars we pay in tuition to the university every semester. Meaning we have to pay for overpriced textbooks at the USF Bookstore. I thought to myself, “There has to be a better way of going about this,” and it turns out, there are several.

The first alternative is the one USF students are most familiar with, Amazon.  Renting or buying your textbooks online can save you boatloads in the long run, and to sweeten the deal even more, Amazon offers free two day shipping exclusively for students!

Another option easily missed by a large number of students here at USF, is the Bulls Online Market Place.  This fantastic Facebook marketplace is open only to USF students, staff and faculty and offers not only some of the best deals and discounts on textbooks, but on all sorts of academic related supplies.

My personal favorite alternative to paying for textbooks is actually one that doesn’t cost me a dime and surprisingly, not many students are aware of it.  The Library has a massive selection of textbooks available for 3 hour check-outs during operational hours (which are practically all the time).

Show the front desk your student ID and just like that, you’ve got the textbook you need, free of charge.  Need it for longer than 3 hours?  No problem!  Just re-check the book out at the front desk and you’ve got it for another 3 hours!  For more information on the USF Library check out there page here.

Take advantage of these cost efficient textbook alternatives and save a buck because as college students, we all know that a little money saved can go a long way.


2 thoughts on “Textbook Alternatives

  1. Have you checked out Chegg or BookRenter? You can literally rent a textbook for an entire semester for $20. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I purchased any material from the USF bookstore.

    -Alexandra Lallemand


  2. Thank you so much for the suggestions! It’s hard having so few options, or feeling as though you have so few. It is particularly hard when the few that I was previously aware of were all so expensive! I have run into so much trouble with renting books. For instance, I sometimes end up buying it and then don’t even need it for the entire semester, or I end up changing class and therefore need a different book. I will absolutely look into all of your suggestions next semester, and the websites Alexandra mentioned as well!

    -Anna Scordato


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