The best way to… get cheap study books

Still banging your head against the wall about having to spend hundreds of euros on brand new textbooks for your first term? We feel your pain. Here’s how to save a few bucks on your books.

German Amazon! – For some bizarre reason, our Eastern neighbors’ Amazon site is a very good place for buying textbooks that are used at the RUG. Maybe it’s because we have many German students here? Who knows, but you should definitely try it out for yourself. Bonus: the German Amazonians are kind enough to provide free shipping to the Netherlands. Dass ist auch gut!

University Library: This is a popular option, so act quickly. Borrow the book you need and photocopy it in its entirety (or, better yet, just the chapters you need for this week). Be considerate, though – if you need the book, twenty of your classmates have probably had the same idea.

Pro tip: some lecturers reserve books so that students can photocopy the necessary chapters every week. But more often than not, teachers don’t think to do it, so tell them to get on it – pretty please?

Facebook: Like most other 5x tips, Facebook saves the day yet again! Many students still feel the pain of handing over hundreds of euros for books that they may only need for a matter of months. To make sure you never again suffer such an expensive indignity, check out Study Books in Groningen, For Sale in Groningen and your study’s own Facebook group.

Print-shops: Wanna go rogue? There are copy shops in the city that can help students keep their textbook budget low by photocopying them. This is however, very illegal.

So, you’ve been warned – still, these shops do exist… just saying. [Disclaimer: the UK takes no responsibility for any activities involving the illegal trafficking, distributing and/or reproducing of copyrighted material].

Read between the lines: Like most things in our modern day and age, you can make anything a business (like the highly in-demand ‘Reserve a spot in Heaven’ and ‘Cheese-Sculptures’). That goes for books, too! But you can take comfort in knowing it’s not as bad here as it is in the U.S., where universities sometimes sign million dollar deals with publishers to ensure there is a new edition of a textbook released every year.

If ever your teacher says you absolutely, positively, may not under any circumstances use the 34th edition and you must buy the 35th edition, take the time to compare the two anyway. Chances are that you’ll find the only difference is the font and a few additional pages of new material.

If the books really do differ from one year to the next or – worse – if they change completely, then you’ll have to face the music and buy them brand new. C’est la vie.