Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
logo for Ventura College Library

Low Cost Textbook Options: Home

Decorative image of textbooks lined up on a shelf with the titles of subjects listed on the book spines.

Finding Low Cost Textbooks           

Textbooks are not cheap, but you need them if you want to excel in your classes. To save money on textbooks, the Library is providing a few tips and locations where you may find cheaper versions.

Tips to Try

  • Rent instead of buy. (See a list of websites below.)
  • Buy used.
  • Buy the book from another student who has taken the class before.
  • Check with the UDC Library to see if they or other local libraries have the book or e-book.
  • Request the book through ILL. (These items can take two weeks to arrive and have short loan periods).
  • Check with your professor if it’s okay to use an earlier edition.
  • Sell your old textbooks to fund your new books.
NOTE: Some textbooks come with a digital access code that you need to access quizzes, tests, and assignments. If your class requires this code, you will need to buy a new textbook.

How to Buy Used Textbooks

If you decide to buy a used textbook, make sure to keep the following in mind:

  • Order the right edition of the book.
  • Search by ISBN whenever possible. You’re more likely to get the right copy.
  • Be careful with foreign editions. They may be cheaper, but the content (particularly assignments and quizzes) can be different.
  • Read up on the used copy’s condition - some books are like new, others will include highlighting and notes in the margins.
  • See where the book ships from - if the book is coming from overseas, it may not arrive in time. Consider shipping costs.
  • Look at multiple used copy listings before picking one to buy.
You can find used textbooks on the following websites:



(**) You can also rent books from these websites

The content of this LibGuide is borrowed from Finding Low Cost Textbooks by Meghan Kowalski and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Creative Commons image of CCBY