Student Tips: Making Textbooks More Affordable

How Can I Save Money on My Textbooks? 

1. Shop around! Websites that search for lowest priced copies of new and used textbooks include ( is external)), ( is external)), ( is external)) among others. 
2. Consider renting some textbooks. Cal Student Store and is external) all offer rentals. There are other companies, too, that offer rentals. For more information, review the Consumer Affairs website on textbook rentals. The campus, however, does not endorse any particular rental company. 
3. Consider using electronic versions of textbooks: they may be cheaper. These may be available from the Cal Student Store or other local stores, directly from publishers, and from e-vendors such as CourseSmart ( is external)), a consortium of major textbook publishers. 
4. Borrow a text from a friend who has taken the course (make sure it's the same edition). 
5. Consider buying used books from other Berkeley students, such as through the Berkeley Book Exchange ( is external)
6. Check to see if your textbooks are on reserve at the library. 
7. Sell your books back to the bookstore. Be sure to be aware of return dates and policies. One trick to know: Hold on to a textbook for an extra semester if it is from a course only taught once a year. The bookstore won't give top dollar if the book is not being used in the following semester. At the end of the next semester, the book can be bought back at a higher rate since it will be used in the coming semester. 
8. Don't buy the wrong books! Use “View Books” on the online Schedule of Classes ( to find out before the semester begins the textbooks required for your courses. Check with your instructor, if possible, to confirm the books are required. 
9. Save your receipts; you may qualify for a tax break under the American Opportunity Tax Credit ( is external))! 
10. The campus and faculty work very hard to keep textbook costs down. If you find a version of your text that has not been identified by your instructor, be sure to let him or her know.