Save hundreds of dollars with Google Play’s digital textbooks


A major expense for any struggling college student, the textbook economy is more or less a scam. A professor provides a list of required texts, the campus bookstore sells them for exorbitant prices, and the publishers release a new edition each year insuring that any money returned by selling a book back is a mere fraction of what it originally cost. The average student spends thousands of dollars over the course of four years for books with a shelf life lasting only a semester. Textbooks on Google Play changes that.

Not only does the offering of digital textbooks cut back on the number of bulky texts that must be chucked into a backpack, but it breaks down the cost to something a little more manageable. Sure, some books are still expensive regardless, going for close to $200 to buy outright. But Google Play offers the option to rent a text for six months at a deep discount. Again, in some cases this is still fairly expensive (nearing $100 for certain math and science texts), but it’s about the equivalent of picking up a used tome and selling it back at the end of the school year — the typical life cycle of a textbook. That or collecting dust for years on a shelf, a totem to your debt and inability to find a job with that degree in contemporary sculpture.

The selection is actually quite wide, so there’s a good chance heading into the new school year that college students should be able to find digital versions of some or all of their books. Google recommends you read them on a shiny new Nexus 7 tablet, where you can annotate to your hearts desire, but that was obvious from get go.

[via Google]

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TAGS: Google Play

  • Vanakatherock

    If I have to buy a book for one of my last two classes next month I’ll give it a whirl on Google Play. Maybe it’ll be better than Vital Bookshelf.

  • fallenshell

    1 week after i had to rent my books, but the prices for buying are almost as good as the ones i rented. For the two books they have.

  • Jeff72

    In my day, we didn’t have fancy pantsy etextbooks, we had books made from trees. And the ones we didn’t sell back after being done with them, we gave those to Goodwill after clearing out storage space some 15years later when we finally realized we would never read them again.

    • TheScientists

      Still have my engineering textbooks from school. I paid for ’em! I’m keeping ’em dammit!

      • Fernando Madrigal

        get off my lawn!!

    • violator702

      Save the trees!

  • Unorthodox

    And that’s for what I love Google. They have no allegiance with traditional scams like this, and just smash them one day like a big badass wrecking ball.

  • TalkingMoose

    Will Google also pre-highlighted copies?

  • Anthony McKay

    I wonder if text books will include videos. Most text books now come with DVDs and such. That’d be neat.

  • gmaninvan

    Until the open book test arrives where you aren’t allowed any electronic devices

    • Roaduardo


    • lookatmyfunnyusername

      Buy from the bookstore and return the day of the test.

  • Godzoox

    Textbook torrents anyone…

    • James George

      Never head much luck with that. What do you use?

      • James George

        It is crap that if you buy the paper book you must also purchase the electronic version if you want to have that for a backup or traveling etc.

  • Go Hawkeyes

    Or you could go to any one of the many growing number of schools that loan text books instead of selling them. I’m back in school and only pay $18 a semester per class to rent the text book for the term.

  • Lactose_the_Intolerant

    There are probably several companies doing this already — the one I am most familiar with is — out off all the books needed for my MBA, only 4 were not available on that site. Electronic texts were 50-75% less than physical text, you have access to them for 6 months, and there is an offline mode. Highly recommended.

  • rustygh

    Oh you mean like kindle, and barns & noble textbooks?
    Oh but hey now that google has it well holy hell that’s trendy

  • pr1nyc1

    The problem is that many of my classes require access codes to do homework online. And i dont think these give you those codes.

    • gelewunitidy

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      1 week after i had to rent my
      books, but the prices for buying are almost as good as the ones i
      rented. For the two books they have.

  • Thanh Nguyen

    It’s worth looking into when I’m back in classes this Winter. Nexus 7 looks a lot better in the dark, compared to paper.

  • Brian S.

    Has anyone found any of their textbooks on here?

  • crhylove

    All colleges should use free copy left books. All educational materials should be free. Anything else is completely immoral.