With classes across all levels of schooling beginning to start back up again for a second, brand new semester, comes the need for new textbooks! Buying new textbooks is one of the most arduous processes for college students alike, due to their exorbitant costs, and handfuls of pages that will probably go unaddressed by the professor. These factors can lead to a looming sense of wastefulness, when in reality, a textbook can be an essential tool for passing a class. In order to reduce this feeling of environmental and financial stress, you can turn towards buying second-hand books! 

Used books may cost you only half the rate of new books. By buying them, you may cut costs and buy even more books with your saved money. From the environmental perspective, traditional books are a paper-based product and require a lot of natural resources to produce—most of which will eventually end up in landfill if disposed of improperly. To give an example of the benefit of thrifting books, the online company ThriftBooks.com releases statistics on the impact of their business. They claim that all of their unused materials are sent to recycling plants, where each ton of post-consumer copy paper would save approximately 24 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 4,100 kilowatts of electricity, and 60 pounds of air pollution. 

In addition to ThriftBooks.com, many independent booksellers use the platform AbeBooks.com, so it's a good way to support them too. Unlike on eBay, where it's almost completely up to the seller what details about the book they want to include, almost all AbeBooks listings come with a good number of bibliographic details—including the all-important book condition, binding, and publisher.

Aside from ThriftBooks.com, and AbeBooks.com, other mediums to consider include: BetterWorldBooks.com, Alibris.com, or even just attending your local thrift store!


Allison Barusevicius