Use these additional resources throughout your time as an Explorer. Check back for regular updates!
To find out which textbooks you will need, check the syllabus for your class(es) on Canvas.
Required vs Recommended Materials:
The materials in your booklist will be labeled either required or recommended. If it is labeled recommended you do not have to buy it. I would suggest writing down the ISBNs of the required materials so that you can find the best deals possible or read them in the Connelly Library.
Wait to Purchase:
Don’t buy any textbooks before the first day of classes! Sometimes teachers will say that books from your booklist, even if they were labeled required, aren’t actually needed for your class. Don’t be shy to ask your professor if a previous edition of the book is allowed, and could be used in place of the most current edition. Generally, the older editions can be found for much lower prices.
Communicating with Teachers:
This situation will be unique to every teacher, but sometimes you can communicate with your teacher about your needs. They might have an extra book that they can loan you. Or they might allow you to read from and/or get problems from the book during office hours. Sometimes there is nothing the teacher can do for you. However, if you are really struggling with money, it’s worth it to discuss your situation with the teacher in case there is some other option they can help you out with.
You can usually find the cheapest deals online. A good place to start is to plug in the ISBN number of the book you need into Google to see what results come up. Amazon, Abebooks, and Chegg are usually good sites where you can find great textbook deals for both new and used books. Bookfinder4You is a good website that will compare prices for you. Also choosing to rent your textbooks usually lowers the price significantly. iFlipd is a good website if you just need to rent a book for a couple of weeks, but otherwise the weekly price gets a little high. Renting on Amazon and Chegg are usually the best options, but it is always important to do your own online research to find the best deal possible.
In Philadelphia, there are a couple of used bookstores that might hold the best deals for textbooks. Bookmans would be the best place to look. There aren’t that many textbooks there, but if you do find the one you need, it will likely be a steal.
The Connelly Library has a wide assortment of textbooks and eBooks that are available to you for free. It is worth checking to see if your textbook or something similar is available through the library. The Libraries also have access to a plethora of research articles, including PubMed, which can be useful when writing papers.
Finding Books Online:
There might be a chance that you can find the book you need online for free. You can search Google for a pdf version of your book. Some good free (and legal) textbook/learning sites are OpenStax and Khan Academy.
Sometimes the best way to get your textbooks is to split the cost with friends/classmates. If you have friends in the same class as you, you might want to consider buying one book and then sharing. This could significantly lower costs. You can also save money by sharing subscription costs for homework help sites like Chegg and CourseHero. Just remember that when you are using homework help sites do not use them to plagiarize, but instead use them to help boost your own understanding.
Look online to find the best sites to sell your textbooks. Some examples are Textbooks.com and Cash4Books. There is also a website called Book Scouter that will find the highest bid for your book from various buyer sites. Another thing you could do is sell your textbooks to other students that will be taking the classes you just took
If you are thinking about attending graduate school your best bet is to talk to your advisor or department chair, the early the better.