Where to Buy Cheap College Textbooks – 29 Nifty Websites

Classes are starting up for me this week, so that means I need to start ordering my textbooks.

Buying textbooks is always a pain because of the inflated costs involved.

Last semester, I had to buy a 150-page textbook written by my professor that cost $97 used. And Im sure that cost doesnt surprise you.

Textbook prices are out of control – especially after reading on Digg.com that textbook prices have risen almost 186% since 1986.

However, there are plenty of places online to buy textbooks on the cheap.

Here are 29 places to buy cheap textbooks:

Abebooks.com
Free shipping and a way to shop 13,500 online booksellers at once.

Addall.com
Addall.com compares textbook prices across the web. It provides you with all the fine details – like taxes and shipping involved for each store.

Affordabook.com
Find discounted textbooks and novels.

Alibris.com
Alibris will connect you to independent booksellers across the United States. You can find some great deals here.

Allbookstores.com
Compare prices across hundreds of bookstores affiliated with Allbookstores.com – which looks a bit like Amazon.com.

Amazon.com
Ive bought and sold my textbooks through Amazon.com many times. You can get connected to some independent sellers who offer great rates on used textbooks.

BetterWorld.com
Fund literacy, care for the environment, and save money on textbooks with BetterWorld.com. They even offer free shipping. Check out their prices.

Bigwords.com
This website is a book search engine that aggregates prices of textbooks across the web.

Bookbyte.com
Another website that allows you to buy and sell used textbooks.

BookCloseouts.com
Cross your fingers and pray that you can find a discounted textbook here. You can find some amazing deals.

BookFinder.com
Lifehacker.com recommends this book search engine to find cheap textbooks.

Books-A-Million.com
A site similar to half.com – which allows you to buy discounted textbooks and novels.

BuyUsedTextbooks.com
Buy and sell used textbooks

CampusBooks.com
CampusBooks.com claims to save students 58% on average on textbooks. Prices include tax, shipping and coupons.

CampusBooks4Less.com
Another bookstore search engine to find cheap books.

Campusi.com
This search engine compares textbook prices on over 200 online bookstores.

CollegeSwapShop.com
This nifty website allows you to buy, sell, or swap used textbooks.

CompareTextbooks.com
A cool spot to get price comparisons on your textbooks at different websites.

Chegg.com
Chegg.com allows students to rent college textbooks – instead of paying the high cost of buying them at your campus bookstore.

DirectTextBook.com
This websites compares textbook prices across a bunch of popular online stores like Ebay.com, Half.com, and Amazon.com.

Ebay.com
You might be surprised to find your textbooks on sale at Ebay.

eCampus.com
eCampus.com provides a place to buy and sell discounted textbooks. Youve probably seen their ads in your campus newspaper.

FreeloadPress.com
Ive never used this service, but they offer free textbooks in return for completed surveys. These textbooks have ads in them – which help pay the cost. Leave a comment if this service is legit or not.

Half.com
Ive found some great discounted textbooks here.

Halfvalue.com
This is a typical buy & sell used textbook website.

iChapters.com
Save the environment and your money by purchasing only the book chapters you need to read as an eBook.

Textbookrevolution.org
A website thats beginning to archive links to free textbooks across the web. A very cool project!

TextbookX.com
You may have heard of TextBookX.com because they have a handy Facebook app that allows students to buy and sell directly through your profile. Ive never used this service, but leave a comment if you have. Im curious if it worked for you.

ValoreBooks.com
ValoreBooks.com promises cheap textbooks for students.

And dont forget about these free online textbook resources:

Any other websites you recommend should get added to this list?

6 Cool Online Office Applications You Should Know About

Here are 6 web-based text documents that you can use to store and share your documents online:

ThinkFree
ThinkFree provides you with a web-based document that looks almost exactly like Microsoft Word. These online documents can be shared with your friends and edited by anyone you give access to. You can also publish your document directly on your blog if you want.

Writeboard
Writeboard is another free web-based document application that allows you to share your documents with friends—and it will even track everyone’s changes. What’s nice about this application is that you can subscribe to these docs via RSS, so you’ll immediately know after someone’s finished editing the text.

GOffice
GOffice is an online word processing application that gives you unlimited text storage space. Yeah, unlimited! And this site also allows you to fax your online document anywhere in the United States for free. There’s also a nifty PDF converter (in case you want to download a PDF version of your doc).

ajaxWrite
ajaxWrite is one of our favorite online word processing programs because it allows you to read and edit Microsoft Word and Excel documents. You can work on your file and then immediately download it to your computer when you’re done. The only problem is that you need to have the Firefox web browser to use this program.

Zoho Writer
Zoho Writer is another online processor that allows you to import documents in a variety of formatsincluding Microsoft Word and HTML. Multiple users can edit the same document at the same time.

Google Docs and Spreadsheets
We can’t write an article about web-based office applications without mentioning Google Docs and Spreadsheets. Google’s online docs is a great way to write, store, edit, and share documents with anyone. Anyone who has an email account can gain access to this free application.

How to Deal with Exam Stress

We love The Student Room (the United Kingdom’s largest online student community) website.

They have a cool wiki project with students posting tips and advice on a variety of subjects—everything from anthropology to veterinary medicine. The wiki project just launched, and were excited to already see students submitting helpful content.

Anyway, they have a great collection of tips on how to deal with test stress.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • If your mind goes blank, don’t panic. If you worry and panic, it will make it harder to recall the information. Focus on some deep breathing for a few minutes. The information is there, you just have to get to it. If after relaxing for a few minutes, you still can’t remember the answer, move onto the next question and come back to this one later.
  • Don’t try to be perfect. We all want the best possible grades that we can get, but sometimes it just doesn’t work like that. If you think that ‘anything less than an A means I’ve failed’, then you are just creating unnecessary mountains of stress for yourself. Try to do your best, but remember that we can’t be perfect all the time.
  • The night before your exam, make sure you have a relaxing evening, doing as little revision as possible. Get a good night’s sleep, and try your best not to worry; you have already done all your revision anyway! On the day, make sure you have plenty of time to get ready, have a good breakfast and arrive at college or school in plenty of time.

Check out the rest of the test taking strategies to reduce stress.

Download the Free Version of StarOffice with Google

I bought my laptop last year for very little money during one of those “after Thanksgiving” sales.

Yeah, I was one of those guys who waited in line at freakin’ Office Depot to get this deal, but it was worth it.

Anyway, the computer didn’t have any software with it, except some pretty standard applications that I couldn’t do much with. And there’s only so much Minesweeper I can possibly play.

Since I didn’t have money to buy Microsoft Office, I had to rely on some open source applications that didn’t really work very well. They were all buggy and slow.

So anyway, Google released a FREE version of StarOffice several months ago, and I’m very happy with it. You get everything that Microsoft Office has, except you don’t pay a dime. And the software actually works really well. Another bonus is that you can easily import/export Microsoft Word docs.

So anyway, if you’re running short on cash, you should definitely check out StarOffice.

UC Berkeley Offers Free Classes Online

We just found out that UC Berkeley launched webcasts of hundreds of class lectures.

Yep, that means you can watch video courses in a variety of different subjects. Some of their free online classes include: astronomy, biology, physics, psychology, quantum mechanics, and philosophy. Check out Berkeleys full online webcast library when you get a chance.

How to Hack Google Scholar to Get Search Results by Email or RSS

Im in love with aggregator sites like Yahoo Pipes and Dapper.com.

These nifty mash-up tools allow you to hack feeds and/or search results to get the information you want as a filtered RSS feed, XML, email, or website widget.

And whats great is that student hackers have created helpful feeds to help you research smarter without doing any work.

Here are some of my favorite filters that will email results to you:

Let me know of any others that you like so I can add them to the list.

Recommended Reading

Free Online File Conversion Websites

There are tons of free online file conversion websites out there, but some act a bit buggy at times. Check out these sites the next time you need to convert a file—and let us know how it works for you.

Here’s a list of some of our favorite online file conversion sites:

Zamzar.com
Zamzar.com allows you to convert almost any type of format—from documents and images to music and videos. This site is great if you want to download YouTube videos and convert them to mp4s so you can watch them on your iPod.

Vixy.net
Okay, this site is mainly for converting online videos so that you can play theem on your PC, iPod or PSP. It converts files pretty quickly. All you need to do is paste the URL of the YouTube video, and then select what type of file you want.

We’ll keep adding to this post as we receive more recommendations . . .

Social Networking Hacks

So Ive been spending a lot of time researching online social networks for my grad project – and I stumbled across a variety of websites that aggregate online social profiles.

These sites allow you to manage multiple social network accounts and keep tabs on what youre friends are doing online.

Digsby
Digsby helps you organize all your email, instant messaging, and social networking accounts. This is only available for Windows right now.

Fidgt
Fidgt aggregates friends in your email address book all into one spot. One of the nifty features about this site is the Network Visualizer that allows you to create tag magnets to see who in your network is posting items about that subject youre interested in.

FriendFeed
Keep tabs on what all your friends are doing online with FriendFeed. You simply import your email address book and then FriendFeed scans the web looking for Amazon wish lists, diggs, flickr accounts, linkedIn profiles, blogs, social bookmarks, etc. This should be called SpyFeed.

Fuser
Fuser allows you to manage multiple email/inmail accounts (even within your online social networks). Theres even a social network leaderboard that shows you which of your friends on MySpace and Facebook communicate with you most (for whatever thats worth).

HelloTxt
HelloTxt allows you to simply – and very easily – update your Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce, Facebook, and MySpace pages with the click of a mouse. You simply type in your message into a text box, and then submit it off to whatever networks you choose. Pretty simple.

Iminta
Iminta is a website that allows you to create unique feeds for your various online activities. For example, you can create a specific feed for your best friend that only aggregates info from your Facebook, Flickr, and MySpace page, but it wont pull in the articles/websites that your digging, bookmarking, or voting on.

MyLifeBrand
MyLifeBrand allows you to manage up to 8 of your online social networks – like MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn – without needing to log into each one. You can also easily gather all email/inmail messages from across all the social networks you belong to. This can save you a lot of time.

Ping.fm
If youre an online social butterfly and like to post the same information in your Facebook account, Twitter, Tumblr, and/or WordPress blog – then Ping.fm is for you. You simply add your content once – and Ping.fm will add the same content for you across all those networks.

Socialthing!
Socialthing! is in private beta right now, but it aggregates all the activity from your friends once you import your email contact list. It will grab their flickr accounts, twitter updates, blogs, pownce info, and give it all to you in one nifty looking news feed.

Soup.io
Soup.io helps you keep updated on what all your friends are doing online (sort of like a Facebook news stream), and easily allows you to import all your activities from del.ioio.us, digg, youtube, flickr, tumblr, etc. You can also upload videos and images into your Soup.io page.

Spokeo
This is another spy website that allows you to track everything your friends are doing online. It aggregates their StumbleUpon data, digg votes, flickr account, facebook profile, myspace updates, etc.

101+ Web Resources for Students

Im in the middle of writing a lengthy paper – and Ive discovered a bunch of useful websites.

Here is a collection of over 100 web resources that you might find useful as well:

Almanacs

Biographies

Dictionaries

Encyclopedias

General Research

Journal Article Databases (Free Access from Campus Library)

Literature

Social & Economic Issues

Statistics

Style Manuals

Yearbooks

How to Find More Cash for School – 9 Financial Aid Options

As an undergrad, I financed my way through college with grants and student loans – but there was a time when I didn’t have enough money for basic living expenses.

Sure, I had a place to live on campus, but I didn’t have much money for anything else.

So if you ever find yourself worried about financing your education (like I have), here are some ways to cover your college tab:

Federal Pell Grants
The Federal Pell Grants are financed by our federal government – and typically get awarded only to undergrads. These don’t ever need to be repaid. It’s essentially free money to attend class. The maximum amount of money you may get is $4,731 (through June 30, 2009).

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)
The SEOG grants are paid to you to help cover your financial needs. These can be awarded to both part-time and full-time students. Grants range between $100 and $4,00 per year (depending on need).

Stafford Loans
Stafford loans need to be paid back, but the interest is subsidized while you’re in school And you don’t need to start paying it back until 6-months after you graduate.

Federal Perkins Loans
The Perkins loans are available for both undergrads and graduate students. Interest rates on these loans is about 5% right now (03/08). Undergrads can get up to $4,000 per year, and graduate students can get $6,000 per year.

College Scholarships
There are tons of free college scholarships out there – it’s just a matter of taking the time to apply. Some people think that you have to have a perfect G.P.A. to qualify, but that’s not the case. There are thousands of scholarships based on other factors; including: athletics, community service, arts, etc.

Plus Loans
You may not know this, but you can get a loan to cover the cost of your education through your parents. Your parents are allowed to borrow the amount of money you need to cover the cost of your education (minus any other financial aid you receive).

Veterans Administration
You don’t have to be a military veteran to qualify for a financial aid. If you’re mother or father served in the military, you might qualify to get some financial help for school.

Company Assistance Programs
I work for a company that is paying my way through graduate school. And I’m not alone – there are many corporations that will pay for schooling and training of its employees. Most of the time you need to work fulltime, which can be a strain on study time – but it relieves the stress of paying the semester bill.

Social Security
I know you probably think social security is only given to older people, but that’s not the case. Social security payments are available people up to age 18 for unmarried students with a deceased parent or a parent who is disabled or drawing social security benefits.