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Reducing Cost 

Textbooks can be expensive, especially if you need to buy several for one semester. Here are a few things you can do to help reduce cost: 

  • Check with UMass Libraries and open-source libraries, such as Library Genesis. (Here’s a link to how to effectively search Library Genesis.) Many textbooks are available to borrow for free. 

  • Search for digital versions of the textbooks. E-books are often less expensive to purchase than print copies. Search around to see what options you have.  

  • Rent textbooks instead of buying them. Several companies rent textbooks, both in print and as e-books.  

  • Look for used textbooks. You can find used textbooks at bookstores, online, or from other students.  

  • Sharing textbooks. Consider splitting the cost of a textbook with a friend or two in the same class and coordinate a study schedule as needed.  

  • Ask your professor, instructor, or TA. Oftentimes, these individuals know where you can find inexpensive (or free) editions of the books you need for their class. Your professor, instructor, or TA might also be able to connect you with students looking to sell books from a previous semester’s class. 

Here are some specific websites and resources where you can find reduced-priced textbooks: 

  • Amazon Amazon has a wide selection of new and used textbooks, as well as e-textbooks. You can often find good deals on textbooks on Amazon, especially if you shop around and compare prices. 

  • Chegg Chegg is a popular website for renting textbooks. Chegg also offers a subscription service that gives you access to a library of e-textbooks and other study materials. 

  • Barnes & Noble Barnes & Noble has a wide selection of new and used textbooks, as well as e-textbooks. Barnes & Noble also offers a textbook rental program. 

  • Campus Book Rentals Campus Book Rentals is a website that specializes in renting textbooks. Campus Book Rentals offers various rental options, including semester, quarterly, and summer rentals. 

  • BookFinder BookFinder is a website that allows you to compare prices for textbooks from different booksellers. BookFinder is a great way to find the best deal on the textbooks you need. 

Support from UMass Libraries  

  • The UMass Libraries offers a limited number of physical and digital copies of textbooks on reserve for many courses. 

  • The UMass Libraries offers access to many open-source and/or digitally accessible textbooks with a UMass login. That page is accessible here.   

Financial Support 

If you are struggling to purchase your textbooks, campus offers different opportunities to apply for financial support. These include:  

Please note that it takes time to access the resources above, so reaching out early in the semester will be helpful. Please also note that resources are limited and not available to all who request them.