Financial Fitness: How to Save Big on Textbooks

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By Patrick Sochacki, reporter.

Welcome to Financial Fitness! This column is being written with a deep desire to try and make us all a bit more financially literate. My goal is to help you invest in yourself for a fiscally sound future. 

This first article on textbooks will be a bit on the lighter side. In the future, I will be covering things like opening a 401k vs. a Roth IRA, what stocks, bonds, ETFs and other investment types are, how to choose a good route for your personal savings based on your goals, and loads of other information about how to make your money work better for you!

In his book “Summa Theologica,” philosopher Thomas Aquinas wrote that “no man should sell a thing to another for more than it’s worth.” He was discussing how trade should be equal and “not more of a burden to one party than to another.” 

The textbook companies clearly disregarded this when reading their economic texts. Back-to-school spending happens every semester and I have a solid tip on the best way to not get completely wrecked by textbook prices. Personally, I was able to save $71 on textbooks when doing it this semester, but you could possibly save even more!

I used Delta’s bookstore website ( to figure out what books I needed and what they would charge me for them. They provide an ISBN number on the page where you choose how many copies of each book you’d like to purchase. I copied and pasted that number into the search bar. 

Every ISBN I searched for (minus one for a book which was actually cheaper through Delta’s bookstore) had the book as the top result with an option to buy or rent. The “rent” option was at least 50 percent cheaper for all of my books, but I decided I wanted to keep a couple of the ones I was getting this semester so I bought them instead. 

Overall, my original total through Delta’s bookstore for the 4 books I needed was $178.90, but I ended up spending $107.16 by using Amazon. Had I rented all of the books instead of buying two of them, it would have only cost me $87.91! That’s a savings rate of 49 percent on one of the most expensive parts of back-to-school shopping.

Now you can save that money and use it for my next column topic: how to get started investing in the stock market. Coming soon!

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