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One of the biggest expenses of college -- other than tuition, of course -- is textbooks and required reading books. You can lessen the blow by going digital, buying used or renting.
Here are 11 ways to get free or discounted textbooks:
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Textbooks are incredibly expensive (not to mention cumbersome and heavy in dead tree format). Smart students can pick up free digital textbooks from severalsources, including one we haven't mentioned before: Rice University's OpenStax College.
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This nonprofit initiative is supported by philanthropic foundations and the peer-reviewed textbooks are provided to over 200 universities and colleges, as well as individual students. Currently about a dozen textbooks are available, covering mostly the sciences, but history, economics, and other subjects are are coming soon.
The OpenStax books are available in PDF and EPUB formats and you can also read them online (even from mobile devices). If you want, you could also customize the cover of the textbook or even rewrite sections of one and have it printed.
Though the selection is small right now, this is definitely a site to bookmark to keep an eye on for the next semester. Low-cost, open education FTW!
OpenStax College via Ask Bob Rankin