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      Cutting the costs of college textbooks

      Reports have found that textbook prices have gone up 82% in the past decade. Some students spend as much as $1,200 per year.

      If you donâ??t want to shell out hundreds of dollars on new textbooks, you can always buy used books or rentals. But donâ??t wait too long if you want the best deal.

      "Certainly buying earlier is better because the selection of used books is better earlier than waiting until the last minuteâ?? said Mike Kuzak, manager of the NMU Student Bookstore.

      â??"If there are used copies available of that same book but new, then we can sell it to the student at up to a 50% discountâ?? said Timothy Weingarten, owner of Students First Bookstore.

      The better the condition of the book, the better resale value it will have.

      "First you look at the spine to see if all the pages are still intact, then you look to see if any pages have been ripped outâ?? said Weingarten. â??Then you look at any water damage."

      Oftentimes, you will only get a fraction of that money back, if even at all. If a professor wants to use a new edition textbook for each year, then you old edition loses value.

      â??We have a booklist of 2,500 titles and probably 2/3 of them will be different next fallâ?? said Kuzak.

      E-books may seem more convenient, but in reality they will cost you much more since you cannot sell them back or buy used copies.

      â??In order to protect their market, publishers are trying to create ways to force students to buy the bookâ?? said Kuzak. â??Certainly web access is one of those ways.â??

      If the E-book or an access code is required, there are ways to get a better deal.

      â??A lot of access codes can be bought directly from the publisher and that is what we encourage students to do once they go to class and realize that they actually do need those access codesâ?? said Weingarten.

      Keep an eye out for rentals, as well since they may not be cheaper in the long run.

      â??Generally when you buy a book you can sell it back for a price that will end up costing you less than if you had rented the bookâ?? said Weingarten.

      The important thing to remember is not to settle for the first price you see. Shop around and compare prices. If it is still too much, ask about payment plans or about borrowing copies from professors or libraries.