Old college text books for cheap.. where to look?

I really would love to get my hands on textbooks for more advanced science and math, maybe even engineering. I want to learn as much as I can but my supplies now are diminishing fast. I also enjoy the text book format. With that being said where I can I get dirt cheap old textbooks? I mean really cheap - less than 5 dollars a book would be perferable.

I have looked online but mostly to no avail. Are there certain general places to find them? Like any sort of place that would typically throw them away?

Thanks in advance! I know there is probably no one answer to this and it probably all depends on luck but any advice would help!

You might try www.half.com. It will still exist until October, when eBay takes it over. I believe there is also a “Half-zone” on eBay.

There are some very cheap textbooks available at Half.

Good luck.

Library book sales. In my area these usually run 3 days. 1st day you may pay something like $5 for a hardback. 2nd day more like $2. Last day it’s $5 for a bag or box. I would recommend going the first day when there will be the best selection. I have gotten foreign language and business textbooks this way when I just needed to learn the subject matter and didn’t care which specific textbook I used.

I would also check with Goodwill/ used book stores in the area, or near the closest campus. They probably don’t accept textbooks for donation, because of very low success at resale, but may have people drop them off unbidden. Perhaps you could persuade them to set potentially relevant ones aside for you.

Good luck! I applaud learning on the cheap!

A friend of mine suggests AddALL.com to his students - I’ve seen one of his texts there (normally about 70 bucks) for as little as 5.

Is there a college campus where you live? A few times a year, the bookstore at Oklahoma State piles old textbooks (noo longer used in current classes) on a table and sells them for a buck each. When OSU dropped their Archeology courses, I got a mother lode of texts on Ancient History, the Arts and poetry of the ancient world.

I might be making this up, but I could have sworn someone told me once that you could get old textbooks at Goodwill if you’re not picky about the edition. Once the school switches editions, they’re practically worthless as far as the bookstore’s concerned so I think, maybe someone told me people dump them there. We have a goodwill store just down the street from school so it’d make sense.

Harriet the Spry-

What part of North Carolina are you located? I am in the Greensboro/High Point area myself and if you had a specific library in mind that would be super cool.

As for the rest of you - thanks so far! I go to thrift stores often and I have found many books there but never textbooks; perhaps I should look harder. I also have tried half.com and ebay.com but shipping might be a pain after awhile. I never have heard about www.addall.com but seems like a nice place. I need to check at colleges as well. That thought would of never of crossed my mind because I usually thought that they would require the students to buy their own texts in all cases. Anyways, I am going to try all the ones I haven’t. In the mean time, keep them coming!


You can sort by price to find the cheapies.
Currently offering free shipping on orders over $50. Pay attention to what qualifies for the freebie, as it is based on the warehouse from which the books are shipped.

Colleges usually have bookstores on campus as well as a few “independent” stores off campus. You could try up at UNC-G or, since you’re not that far, call the UNC-CH and Duke campus book stores and they will probably be happy to tell you what time of the year their used book sale is. I don’t remember if my school’s was at the end of the semester or the beginning.

(all links lead to the store’s phone #)

Out of two public libraries nearby- one doesn’t sell books and one does but not textbooks.

UNCG-They do not buy back books
UNCCH-Mid-semester or towards the end
NC State-Halloween/Spring
Duke-beep beep beep