Hello! It has been FOREVER, but I am back with a (hopefully) helpful post because it’s almost time for school, and some people have already started looking for their textbooks.
When I checked my textbook list a few days ago on the UBC Bookstore webpage, it rang up to be about $700.
$700 that a poor, hungry student such as myself cannot afford to dish out. Times are rough.
So after picking through what I could afford to pass up, scrounging the internet and book sites, I looked at my new total: $36.
Not too bad for a hungry student.
The bookstore is a last resort for me. Here are some things I personally try before I even consider buying from there:
1. Facebook groups
This is probably the most popular option. There are tons of textbook selling groups for UBC out there – UBC textbook 4 sale, Buy and Sell – UBC text books, etc. Just click ‘join’ and you’re almost instantly accepted. The process is more time-consuming as you have to coordinate with a seller, but you can save quite a bit. The search function on groups also makes it really easy. I usually buy my Psychology textbooks here.
2. Discount Textbooks
UBC actually has a little corner store in the Village that sells brand new textbooks at discounted prices (usually about $20 cheaper). They don’t have an official list of books they sell, but they have a Facebook group and a website (http://www.discounttextbooks.ca/). From what I know, they have EOSC textbooks, English anthologies, and German textbooks.
3. Amazon, http://www.bookdepository.com/
Sometimes you can find pretty decent deals on books on these sites, with free shipping. Sometimes not. It depends. Make sure you factor in shipping times as well!
This is an amazing site. It’s an online library that I’ve found many of my Psychology textbooks on. It’s in Russian, but the books are mostly in English. Theyre usually 1 edition off, but depending on your professor, you could probably get away with it.
5. Do I really need it?
I always recommend waiting for the 1st or 2nd week of classes before buying a really expensive book. Sometimes your prof will tell you it’s not really necessary (more supplementary), or they may allow you to have an earlier edition. Don’t want to make the same mistake I did (ripping off the plastic of a new textbook while the prof says ‘lmao it’s not required’. Savage.)
If you’re in English like I am, most classics/texts can be found online, so I usually just print out copies. Most of the profs are chill with it. Unless you prefer holding $80 in the form of a book in your hands.
6. Library, thrift stores, renting
Not my favourite options, but they’re there. Cheaper alternatives. If you like to write/highlight directly on your textbook, probably not the best.
7. UBC Buyback
It’s not a place to GET textbooks, but to sell. You usually don’t get much, but sometimes, if a course is popular or in demand, you get a pretty good deal (sometimes more than what the FB groups pay)! It’s just a nice way to unload some old books without the hassle of arranging a meeting time, and make back some of that cash you dished out. They have an app on the Play Store called ‘Sell Books’ so you can check if they’re buying your book and for how much before you decide to go.
I sell my old textbooks on FB groups as well.
Looking back on my 1st year, I could’ve probably saved the $400 I spent.
Obviously this guide won’t work for everyone – it’ll depend on your courses/professors/how passionate you are about the subject (maybe you want your own copy to save). Maybe you want to support the bookstore. It’s convenient, definitely. You do you, but if you want to save some money, these are a couple things you can try.
Hope your year starts off with a blast. More from me soon, I hope.