Hot or Not: How to Get Textbooks

February 17, 2023

Textbooks are crazy expensive. Even before books, college students already have to pay for groceries, housing, and tuition. But the problem is, a lot of us are busy with school and we can’t work a job on top of our full-time class schedule. The question is, how can students get textbooks without giving up something else on the ever-growing list of expenses? In this version of “Hot or Not” textbooks are under scrutiny. Specifically, the best places to get them cheap and safe. Without any further ado, let’s jump in.


Thank you, Mr. Jeff Bezos, for a source of textbooks that is relatively cheap and there is much less possibility of scams than other websites. Throughout this article, a necessary book for all NCU students, “Old Testament Today” by John Walton, will be used as a reference point. Amazon lists this book in new condition for $33.60, with free prime shipping. With the other great offers that come with Prime Student, this is definitely a bargain.


Oh, Shall I compare thee to the economy? Because your prices are too high and you make me cry. While it can be a good source in rare circumstances, the majority of the time books can be found cheaper elsewhere. Honestly, there are very few textbooks any of us will want to keep after finals, so why spend extra money to get a new copy? Though it must be said that is a credible source and will not scam you out of your money. On the NCU textbookx website, a new copy of “Old Testament Today” costs $56.57 without shipping.


Thriftbooks is a good source to find any book, not just textbooks. It doesn’t always have the books you need, but when it does they are often highly discounted. On “Old Testament Today” in new condition costs $50.10 without shipping. Oftentimes, however, you can find previous editions or lesser-quality books for a fraction of the price. The first edition of “Old Testament Today” is only $8.09 and depending on the book there are minimal differences between different editions.

Not: Online PDF’s

There are some websites that provide PDFs of textbooks for free. However, this is extremely dangerous and could end up costing you more. Scams, viruses, and other malware are common on these websites. Your classmates may peer pressure you into getting free textbooks through sketchy sources, but you’re stronger than that! Don’t give in!

Hot: Facebook Marketplace/Former Students

While prices are not consistent on Facebook Marketplace, previous NCU students may part with their textbooks for free or minimal prices. “Old Testament Today” was listed on Marketplace for $30 and I personally purchased mine for $5 last semester. There are also two NCU Facebook groups perfect for buying textbooks: NCU Textbook Market and NCU Market. Facebook Marketplace can house scammers looking for payment without sending you the books, but keeping transactions within the NCU community is a safe route.

Not: Theft

Need we address this? “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, [or his textbooks,] or anything that is your neighbor’s.” 

And even more to the point, “You shall not steal.” While it is free besides emotional damage and a potential fine, it is not at all safe or morally sound. Moving on.

The Middle Ground: The Library

While T.J. Jones Library has many textbooks online for free that are safe and free, it can be a challenge for people who struggle to read online copies of books. Finding physical books at the library can work well, but you only have access for a limited time and there is no guarantee that it will be available whenever you need it. A method that cannot be endorsed by the Northerner is taking PDF scans of the pages. Keep in mind that this is illegal and God sees you. It could potentially be sacrilege to illegally obtain a Christian textbook and the librarians may catch you. Never make a librarian angry. Remember, it is hot to get your textbooks on time. It is not hot to leech off friends. Get those textbooks ordered and nail your classes!

Where will you find your next textbook?