Students turn to alternative options for purchasing textbooks

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By: Kate Johnston

Textbooks are a necessity for college, however, students could do without the high prices. While the Boise State Bookstore is a conveniently-located resource for buying supplies, students may turn to alternative routes for purchasing textbooks.

According to sophomore nursing major Maddy Thibadeau and sophomore social work major Hailey Arnold, buying and selling textbooks can be more of a hassle than it’s worth.

“(Textbook) prices are way too high, so I hate buying them,” Thibadeau said.

Jonny Fisher, part-owner of the Textbook Exchange, claims the reason for such high prices lies primarily in the hands of publishers, who inflate the prices in order to compensate for decreasing revenues.

As a result of the cost, some students have turned to illegal actions such as buying counterfeit textbooks or downloading pirated copies. This has also raised textbook prices. Fisher also claims bookstores have not adapted well to the needs of their customers, which has caused inefficiencies in the system and consequently increased prices.

“Textbook prices are way too high,” Fisher said. “If a book is expensive in store, it is because it was expensive to source.”

Highly priced textbooks may be an issue for campus bookstores, but there are in fact cheaper options. Many websites offer cheaper ways to get textbooks either online or sent to your doorstep. These websites also include the ability to sell previously purchased textbooks once they are no longer needed. For students looking for ways to save on textbooks, check out the following options: is a great place to start. Here students can search and compare among over 40 websites, 20,000 sellers and millions of books. New or used books can be found by searching the title and entering shipping information. is an app for textbooks, with a desktop version also available. All students have to do is search to buy, rent or sell textbooks through the app. is a site for new, used, rentals and e-Textbooks. Here students can compare hundreds of sellers. The website also will show who is offering the highest amount of money for them. On top of that, the app is free.


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