College and university can be expensive, but your textbooks don’t need to be. Cut costs by using these thrifty tips.

Buy Used – Since most students only use a textbook for one class, used books are typically in fairly good condition, and can cost half the price. Online retailers often sell used textbooks for less than on campus bookstores. Since there's a big range in prices for used books, it's a good idea to check several sites, like Amazon and Textbookexchange. The site Books2Go allows students from across Canada to connect and sell used textbooks.

Rent Textbooks – Another option is renting a textbook during your course, especially if you won't need it for reference purposes after your class has ended. Through Chegg Inc., students can rent textbooks with a 21-day risk-free return if they end up dropping a class. Students receive a pre-paid shipping label when they rent a book, to make returns easy at the end of the semester. Other online options to find textbook rentals include Slugbooks.

Consider e-Books – For those who want to save money and don't want to carry a load of heavy books around campus, e-books can provide a practical solution. Sites such as, allow students to search online for a textbook and access it at any time from their computer, tablet or smartphone. Your local library also likely has some of the books you are looking for available as e-Books.

Comparison Shop – Wonder who is selling the textbook you need for the lowest price? allows you to search multiple sites for the best price on textbooks that you can purchase or rent. Make extra money by selling your unwanted textbooks on the site. Check out their Buy vs. Rent tool that compares buying a specific textbook vs. renting to see which option is more cost-effective.

Share and Trade With Friends – If you have a friend who just took the class you will be taking next semester or they are taking the same class on a different day, it might be possible to share a textbook with them and split the cost.

Deciding whether to rent, buy or download a textbook is up to you. Yet no matter what option you decide upon, by doing some research as soon as you receive your list of textbooks for the upcoming semester, you can end up saving a lot.

Want to check out more tips and tools for your upcoming school semester? Visit our Student Hub here.



Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only. It is not to be relied upon as investment advice or guarantees about the future, nor should it be considered a recommendation to buy or sell. Information contained in this article, including information relating to interest rates, market conditions, tax rules, and other investment factors are subject to change without notice and The Bank of Nova Scotia is not responsible to update this information. All third party sources are believed to be accurate and reliable as of the date of publication and The Bank of Nova Scotia does not guarantee its accuracy or reliability. Readers should consult their own professional advisor for specific investment and/or tax advice tailored to their needs to ensure that individual circumstances are considered properly and action is taken based on the latest available information.