Upgrade to Digital Textbooks and Save Money

Digital-TextbooksDo you know how much of your university money goes to textbooks? Students who are enrolled in an undergraduate university programs should allot as much as $1,000 each year for books and other supplies. It doesn’t come as a surprise why most students depend on student loans that take many years to repay, desperately look for scholarships or grants, or take odd jobs to make ends meet.

Although certain expenses are already out of your control, such as tuition, you can negotiate your textbook fees by simply changing from traditional to electronic or digital.

What Are Electronic Books?

Electronic books are books that have been converted to be viewed electronically such as in your mobile phone, laptop, or tablet. They may also refer to their web-based versions, which means they may not be downloadable but still you can see them as long as you have a reliable Internet connection.

For students, e-books have become a much better choice primarily for cost savings. They can be as low as 70% cheaper than their printed counterparts. The extra savings can then be used to ease rent payments.

How Do You Really Save Money?

1. Ask if you can use the e-book versions. Some teachers and programs can be very strict with the books that you use, and they may deny you from using e-books. Thus, buying the e-book before asking permission may only be another waste of money. However, some universities now provide e-book versions of textbooks.

2. Consider book lending. Some books are merely for references, which means you use them only for a very limited period and buying them is impractical.

For short-term use, go to Book Lending, a website that matches borrowers and lenders, and you can borrow the books you like free. The book can then be viewed in different devices that is compatible with the Kindle app. Of course, only Kindle books can be loaned, and each book may be loaned only once. You have 14 days to borrow the book.

3. Check if the e-book is in the public domain. If your required book has been initially published many years ago, there’s a good chance that it’s already considered as public domain, and you can do almost whatever you want with it, including printing and sharing them with friends.

Some of the best places to search for public domain books are:

  • Internet Archive and Open Library with over 6 million e-books including around 500,000 books for users with special needs.
  • Project Gutenberg with almost 50,000 public domain titles.
  • Feedbooks with titles that are accessible in certain mobile devices.
  • Books Should Be Free with e-books wonderfully classified into genres.
  • Bartleby that offer mostly classics and references like Strunk’s Elements of Style and World Factbook.