Skimping on textbooks, students saving money

By Tara Ricks |

It’s a well-known fact that many college students do not like to buy hundreds of dollars worth of textbooks. With the current condition of our economy many students are considering what is more important: buying texts books or buying gas.

“I was seriously contemplating how much my grade would depend on not having a certain book,” said Lindsey Williams, a senior at Flagler.

Williams went on to talk about how every year it gets harder and harder to spend all that money on books that professors rarely use.

An African Politics class of 18 students said they didn’t buy their books for a myriad of reasons. They didn’t have the money or they needed to use that money on something else; however, 50 percent of the class admitted to having all of their books.

“I haven’t seen an increase or a decrease in book sales in all the time I’ve worked here,” said Trevor Smith, manager of the Flagler Bookstore. “Students do the same thing every year: they try to avoid getting their textbooks, but they always end up getting them.”

According to, an average college student spends $900 a year on school books.

According to a report from the federal General Accountability Office and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, textbook prices have risen about 6 percent each year from 1986 to 2004.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 requires that students be given more information about what textbooks they are required to have so they can have the opportunity to find good deals.

For next semester, here are some ways to save money on your textbooks. Online book rental sites such as and have great deals. They advertise saving students up to 75 percent of the publishers cost.

Books can also be downloaded from As of right now there are 4,000 textbooks that can be downloaded or read online.

Books obviously can also be bought the old-fashioned way in the Bookstore.

“We do our best to have competitive prices. We don’t think it’s fair students should have to pay $200 for a textbook. We take it all in to account,” Smith said.

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