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6 Pros and Cons of Textbook Sharing Plus Some Good Alternatives

textbook sharing

Throughout the year, students spend around $1,200 on textbooks. That’s a huge chunk of money considering students already have to spend thousands of dollars just to go to college each semester. 

If you’re a student looking for alternatives to buying the textbook, then you may have thought of splitting the cost of a textbook with a classmate so you can share. 

In some cases, textbook sharing can be easy and there are tons of positive reasons why you should share a textbook. On the other hand, it can also be rather difficult to share a textbook with a classmate.  

Keep reading for six pros and cons of sharing a textbook with a classmate as well as some awesome alternatives that can help you save money. 

1. Pro: You’re Saving Money

One of the number one reasons why sharing a textbook with a classmate is so appealing is because you’re saving money. You can split the cost with someone else and generally save a lot of money by doing so. We all know textbooks cost a lot of money and this is a great way to get that cost down a bit. 

You both could save even more money by renting a textbook together! Renting is a great thing to do especially since neither of you will probably use the book again once you finish the class. It also tends to be a bit cheaper to rent a textbook. 

2. Con: Coordinating Use

One major con of textbook sharing is finding the best way to coordinate the two of you using it. Most textbooks will have lots of information that you will need to study outside of class. If you have a big test coming up and only one textbook, then it is going to be rather difficult to make sure you both have enough time to look over the material. 

College is already stressful and textbook sharing can add even more stress to that especially if you’re the one who had the textbook at the time. It is more important not to lose or misplace this as you’re not the only one using it. If your classmate needs the textbook at a time that isn’t convenient for you, then this could add a bit of tension as well. 

3. Pro: Work Together

On the other hand, if you get along really well with your classmate, then you could both work together on studying or completing assignments. You might find it easier to just meet up and use the textbook together which is more beneficial than passing it to each other every so often. 

You can also work together at taking notes. If you’re one of those people who highlight important concepts or jot down important things in the margins, then you will both have access to that information. Working together can help both of you get better grades!

4. Con: Quality of the Textbook

Not everyone is perfect. Sometimes we spill coffee on our textbooks or get crumbs in between the pages. Sharing a textbook with someone will just double the chances of this happening which can add more stress to your life. 

You won’t appreciate it if your textbook partner gets something on the textbook and vice versa. Both of you will want to take extra care of the textbook while using it. Obviously, accidents happen but this time they don’t only affect you. 

5. Pro: Gives You More Accountability

As we’ve previously mentioned, it can be a bit stressful to share a textbook with a classmate but it does give you more reasons to be accountable for your actions. For example, if it was your turn with a textbook, then you can’t just skip class because you feel like it. You’re going to have to make prior arrangements with your classmate to give them the textbook which gives you a reason to just go to class. 

You also may find yourself studying earlier for exams and completing your homework assignments early. These are all great things that you should already be doing but sharing a textbook means you’re going to have to get creative with the time you have with it.  

6. Con: Strict Professors

We’ve all had different types of professors and some just happen to be more strict than others. There are tons of reasons why a professor may not want you to share a textbook during their class. It might make it more difficult for you to participate in class discussions and will obviously hinder you from studying or completing assignments. 

Before even considering sharing a textbook with a classmate, you should see what kind of professor that you have. If they seem more laid back, then sharing a textbook might not be a bad idea for the two of you. Read over the syllabus and see how strict your professor seems. Some professors might take off participation points if you don’t bring your own book to class every day! 

Great Alternative to Textbook Sharing

If you feel like textbook sharing might be a little bit too much for you to deal with, then there are great alternatives to getting your textbooks at a lower cost.

Renting a textbook is going to be the best way to save up to 70% off of the original price of the textbook. This might be a great way to help you save money on your textbooks. Plus most of the time you won’t need your textbook once you’ve completed the class. 

Instead of going to your college’s bookstore, check online when buying your textbooks. You can buy new or used textbooks for much cheaper online than in a bookstore. This is a great option if you think that you may want to keep your textbook or if you want to make some extra money by selling it back once the class ends. 

The Choice is Yours

There are tons of pros and cons when it comes to deciding if textbook sharing is right for you and a classmate. Make sure to set some ground rules with your textbook partner before you agree to share with them. 

If you’re trying to see if you can buy your textbooks online for cheaper, then make sure to enter the ISBN number of the book on our website. 

About the Author

Christopher Manns

I was born in the UK, grew up in Canada and have lived in the USA since the 90s. I love my family, water sports, ice hockey, skiing and soccer. When I'm not helping people save money on textbooks, I'm travelling with my wonderful family and playing sports.