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Student Resources

Rent Digital Program

Best eReaders of 2016

20 free tools for annotating PDF ebooks

The Best Time to Buy and Sell Textbooks

Featured Vendors

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Buy and sell directly to other students at CSUSM and keep 100% of the profit! In additon, Texts.com searches over 25 online sites to show you the best prices for new, used, rental, ebooks, older editions and even open-source books.

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Compare offers for your textbooks from over 35 book buyback vendors with a single search. This allows you to quickly and easily find who is paying the most for your textbooks. Oh, and BookScouter is 100% free with no registration required.

packback books


Rent digital textbooks for $3-$5 a day.While this won't work for all classes, it could be useful under certain circumstances.  Money spent on daily rentals can be directly converted to a semester or year-long rental of the book. Use their search engines to find the best rental, purchase and sell-back prices. Ship the books for free when you use a Packback shipping label.

Price Comparison Search Engines


Search hundreds of booksellers from one site. Buy, sell, or rent, with free shipping both ways.  Ranked #1 textbook rental site by Toptenreviews.com


Just enter CSUSM and your class and Slugbooks will compare prices between the bookstore and loads of online vendors. You can even buy directly from other students.



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Valore books
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Follet Bookstore will match price  against Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chegg, or a local campus competitor.  See their website for terms and conditions.


Rent or buy books or ebooks.  Free courtesy eTextbook for 7 days while you wait for your physical copy.  21 day return policy and free shipping over $25.

bookbyte logo

Similar to Chegg, with 14 day return policy and free shipping over $49.

rentbooks.com website

One more place to buy, rent or sell texts andetexts, with same terms as Bookbyte.


Logo for Vital Source CourseSmart

Search VitalSource for etexts from over 40 publishers and save up to 70% or more over the cost of a physical text.  Etext rentals available as well. Take advantage of the CourseSmart etext reader's features including offline reading and limited printing. Even subscribe to your classmates' and instructors' highlights and notes to view in your book.


OER Textbook Alternatives

These open education resources, or OER, are free to use, however they are not an exact replacement for a publisher's textbook in many cases.


Boundless texts, which must be read online, cover the key terms, concepts, and examples without the bells and whistles. The free textbooks cover the same topics covered in other introductory textbooks in that subject. If you registrer you get access to integrated study tools, quizzes, etc.  For $30 you may be able to get a Boundless text organized to align chapter-by-chapter with your instructor's assigned commercial publisher's textbook. Just enter the ISBN of your textbook to learn whether there is a Boundless version available.


ManyBooks.net- Search over 29,000 books by Author, title, Genre or Language.


College Open Textbooks.org- Not a repository but searchable listings pointing to open textbooks in other repositories.

University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota Open Textbook Catalog - Open textbooks written by academics from many institutions.  Cover a wide variety of subjects.

Project gutenberg

Project Gutenberg - Now over 42,000 free books.  If you're in the humanities, you've hit the jackpot.  Interested in self publishing? visit self.gutenberg.org.


Bartleby.com Great Books Online. Reference, Poetry, Fiction and Non fiction now in the public domain.

General Information

Cover page and link to REPORT.

A Look at the Worst Publishing Tactics at Work: report by the Student Public Interest Research Groups(PIRGs)


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