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How can I find cheap college textbooks for medical students?

With the little money I have, can I afford the best books for medical students I require to study as a medical student? Is there a way I can have equal opportunities with those who are lucky enough to afford new medical books to read? I really need to know how I can find these affordable books, and if I still can’t get them, are there ways that I can access the literature in those books? Above all, is the content in the cheap college textbooks any lesser than that in the new expensive ones? Are the books different in any way or the difference is just the price?

Jan Berry

in Studying

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Melissa Norris on February 5, 2018

The following are great tips to help medical students find the most resourceful books for medical student without spending a lot of money:

  • Buy second-hand textbooks; if your tutor allows the use of an older edition of the textbook, it will be an advantage as the book will be very cheap.
  • Check by ISBN: buying an older edition of a textbook is a good way of ensuring that you get the textbook at a good price.
  • Rent your textbooks: Companies like Chegg, Varole, bookRenter, textbooks.com and Campus Book Rentals give you the required books without having to own them. Colleges are also taking up this idea to ensure the students get access to affordable college text books. There is need however to take care of a rented book to avoid incurring extra penalties when returning it.
  • Photocopy the required section of the book: though it is tiresome to photocopy a book, it would be a good option if only a small part of the book is needed for a specific lesson. Find a file to store the content of the photocopied book safely.
  • Go digital: A cheap college textbook can be owned by scanning the original textbook to come up with PDF files which can be safely stored on an e-book reader, Ipad or a laptop. With this, you will have medical literature to study without having the trouble of carrying heavy books around.
  • Library: though it is not guaranteed that the book you need is still in the library or has been taken by someone else, this is also a good place to source for best books for medical students.

Having looked at the places you can get the textbooks; here is a list of thing to watch out for:

  1. Do not be used by the used books: check the book you are buying very well as the cover maybe intact but the inside is in tatters. Check out if all the pages are in place.
  2. Do not just share your books with anyone and if you must, share with someone who lives near you. Share with less people if you must to avoid problems.
  3. Come up with a sharing plan: set up a strategy to enable everyone to have enough time with the book so that all of you can have time to complete an assignment.

Leigh Manna year ago

I love a good read, and just like you have been told, I look out to get exactly what I need at a price I can afford. Cheap college text books are not in any way lacking the content that the new expensive medical books have. Do not let your dream of excelling in your studies go down the drain simply because your guardian could not afford the expensive medical textbooks. Use the limited resources at your disposal. If you can only afford to rent, then go ahead, if there is a public network which you can use to download part of the medical books, go for it. Back in college, I once had to capture a 100 page book using the camera on my phone because I could not afford bundles to download the content. This however did not make my ‘book’ lack any of the content that the real books had. I studied it and I passed. Do the same!


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