Textbooks are expensive in the U.S., and they may cost around $1000 per term. Now I will share some tips to save money on textbooks.
Before you buy the textbook, you need to check the ISBN, names, authors and edition. You can find this information from course guide, which lists textbooks/other materials required by the instructor. After you have registered the class, you can also find this information from Wolverine Access>Student Business>Student Center>Backpack/Registration>My Class Schedule>Textbook List View. Then you will see the textbook requirements for all registered classes.
A used book is always cheaper than a new book, and most used books are still in good condition. If you want to save money, you can buy a used book from a bookstore or online. When you buy a used book from a bookstore on campus, you can check the condition of the book, but this is not feasible if you buy a book online. In that case, you need to pay attention to the condition listed by the seller. For example, a book in good condition means all pages are intact and it is a clean copy but may show some signs of wear especially on the spine. You can find the list of conditions for used book from this webpage.
Buying textbooks from bookstore is convenient but costly. There are two bookstores on campus, Ulrich's and Barnes & Nobles. As long as you know the course number, you’ll be able to find all textbooks for that class. You may rent some textbooks, which is cheaper than buying a book. In that case, you need to return the textbook to the store at the end of the semester.
Buying/renting textbooks online is cheaper and more popular. It usually takes a couple days to receive a book. Before you receive the book, you may read it in the library. If you rent the book, you need to send the book back to the company using a prepaid shipping label at the end of the semester. I list some popular websites selling or renting textbooks.
http://www.amazon.com/ (Amazon Student offers shipping benefits free for six months, including FREE Two-Day Shipping for eligible purchases)
http://www.directtextbook.com/ (A price comparison website)
You may also borrow textbooks from your friends, or go to the Book Exchange at Michigan Union, which was usually hold at the beginning of the semester.
Written by Yu Zhang
Graduate Student in Psychology