By Hannah Watkins
Staff reporter

Less money, or less time? For students, this decision has to be made every semester.

Some students choose to buy their textbooks online through the college. Others choose to find their textbooks through other sources like,, or

Chase Wilkey, marine biology freshman, bought his books online through the school. “It was easy for me to buy books online through the school,” said Wilkey, “But I looked online with other places too.”

Wilkey researched three websites before buying through the school and discovered there wasn’t that much difference between book prices at the school and through a couple of websites.

“Honestly, the $5 difference wasn’t big enough to go through the hassle of buying with a different website,” said Wilkey.

Jordan Lytton, business junior, has discovered differently. “I buy all my books through Amazon and eBay and I get them almost half off,” said Lytton.

Lytton has also considered renting textbooks through the new textbook rental sites such as

Rental websites let the student find a used textbook they need, rent the text rather than buy, and then return the book when they’re done.

“I think I might use the rental websites next year,” said Lytton, “I won’t have to worry about buying the book, and then figuring out how to sell it back. I can just rent it for when I want it and then give it back.”

Kaydee Johnson, business administration senior, has also looked into renting textbooks rather than buying. “I checked it out my sophomore year, but it seemed like a lot more hassle than it was worth. It wasn’t for me,” said Johnson.

“I bet people who didn’t want to deal with buying and selling back would really get their money’s worth.”

For Wilkey, the hassle of buying through a different website than the schools wasn’t worth saving money, but for Lytton the cost saving aspect was worth going through other websites.

The website, for example claims to be able to save students almost 97 percent on some of their books.
Students like Wilkey didn’t find such a significant difference. offers a similar promise, with up to 83 percent discounts.

If you are a student looking for a bargain, it may just be worth your time to look beyond the online bookstore.

Hannah Watkins is a freshman majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at