Here’s how to decide whether or not to buy that textbook…


Jared Kennedy
News Editor


When I was a freshman, I purchased every book brand new. I bought every book from the campus bookstore and I didn’t sell books back. I was foolish, but you don’t have to be. Paying for school can be an a wallet-busting procedure, but there are some things you can do to make the process a little easier.

Save your hard-earned dollars every semester by following these three steps: Determine. Search. Take your books back.

Determine which textbooks are mandatory. Not all are required. So don’t waste your cash on something you don’t need.

Search for book vendors off campus. Sometimes you can find cheaper books online, at bookstores and by networking with students.

Take full advantage of the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Bookstore textbook buyback program, detailed later.

Before every semester students can log-on to the user-friendly UNO Bookstore website to search for course books. Once the student inputs his or her classes all of the textbooks they will need for the semester appear on the screen. Remember to be mindful of the status of the book – whether it’s an optional or mandatory purchase. Below the author’s name and the book number you’ll see the textbook’s status.

Local vendors, such as Half Price Books, located at 12355 West Center Road, have been edging out the competition for years. Typically, the store stocks college textbooks. According to manager Ben Jacoby, Half Price Books stays up on what textbooks to stock purely on the buying and selling of books. How so? If UNO students bring in UNO textbooks to sell, then those are the textbooks Half Price Books has to offer.

“We can also offer quotes and look up textbooks over the phone,” Jacoby said.

Without leaving their home, students can determine the best deal on a textbook whether at a local store, or online., and many other sites are invaluable resources when it comes to purchasing textbooks. Right on their home page advertises potential savings of up to 90 percent on textbooks. also offers online tutoring services and forums for study questions. is another student-friendly site, including the Amazon Student discount, which gives students similar benefits to Amazon Prime such as free two-day shipping.

Textbook buyback is a hit-and-miss practice. Sometimes a book can sell for only slightly less than the price for which it was purchased, and other times a student may sell it back for only a fraction of the cost. Online reviews of Half Price Books mention that their buy back prices on are simply not adequate, so by comparison UNO Bookstore does appear to excel in this realm. However it is still always best to explore multiple options to ensure the best buy back price.

UNO graduate student Tyler Martin says he takes advantage of textbook buyback whenever he can, but sometimes the store won’t buy a book back because a new edition has come out and the old one isn’t used anymore.

When purchasing a textbook outside of the bookstore always be sure to get the right book by double checking that it is the correct author and edition. Often there are multiple editions of a textbook and a different one may be used every year. So before you save some money by borrowing a friend’s textbook—make certain the books volume and edition are the current ones needed for the course.

“I get books from other means as much as possible, which sometimes means borrowing a book from a friend who took a class the semester before me,” Martin said.

Martin suggests that all students check online before purchasing a book from the bookstore, and be sure to not purchase a book unless it is mandatory.