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Beating the high cost of textbooks

A Northern View

January 15, 2012
ADELLE?WHITEFOOT ( , The Mining Journal

A new semester starts this week for Northern Michigan University and with that means something different for each student. For me, it means I'll be busy again.

This semester I have 17 credits, so I will definitely be busy with homework. Also, with a new semester comes new North Wind issues every week. But there is one thing that every student has in common - paying for textbooks.

Every semester students are given the burden of buying textbooks that they may only use once, and having to pay a lot of money for them. A lot of students get their books from NMU's bookstore which can be a good option sometimes. The bookstore allows students to charge up to $200 in books to their student account which can come in handy if a student can't afford all of their books right away. The bookstore also has a rather new book rental program as well. Not all books are available for rent, but the price to rent a book is about half the price of buying the book.

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Like me, some students use alternatives to getting the textbooks they need. A lot of my friends use Amazon to buy their textbooks or they go to Students First on Washington Street. But, no matter how students get their textbooks, it's always going to cost quite a bit.

Some professors will not require books to help students save money, or they will choose a certain book because it's cheaper. I had five required books this semester and three of them cost $60 or more each. Luckily, I already had one of the five from last semester, but even with having the one book, I spent about $170 on the other four.

I've had to spend more on textbooks in the past and I know other people who have spent a lot more on books - but $170 is still a lot to spend on books that might not even get used. Especially since you'll be lucky to get more than a dollar each when you go to sell them back.

Editor's note: Northern Michigan University student and Mining Journal Staff Writer Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500. Her email address is



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