Make sure to get all the textbooks for your classes. (Photo by James Emery)

Because of the high prices of many college textbooks, some students choose simply not to even buy or rent the books they need for their classes. If you’ve considered doing this, think again.

It is very important to have the course materials your professors require you to have for each of your courses. Even if some items are listed as “recommended” on your book list, you should strongly consider getting copies of those materials as well. In many lectures, professors refer to their textbook of choice. If you don’t have a copy of it in front of you, it will make things more difficult in terms of learning the material in the class and knowing exactly what your professor is teaching you. Secondly, many professors give assignments, quizzes, term papers, and exams that are primarily based on the material covered in a textbook. Without this, you’ll be at a major disadvantage. It is often impossible to pass a higher-level class without the textbooks that complement what you learn in the lectures and discussion sessions.

Aside from the specific requirements of a college class, reading a textbook is a great way to help you better understand the concepts that you learn in class. Some professors just aren’t that great when it comes to explaining things. They might connect well with certain students, but everyone learns at a different pace. That is why having a book provides a good outline of content discussed by the professor. The supplemental materials that often come packaged with textbooks also offer additional outlines, explanations, problems, and quizzes to ensure you fully comprehend the important concepts you need to know when you have to complete various tasks for a class.

Finally, some college courses are simply too difficult to get through without taking a textbook to class and using it outside of class.  This is particularly true for graduate-level courses like those involved in master’s and doctoral degree programs. If you go to law school or medical school, for example, good luck passing your classes without your textbooks. There is so much complex material you have to read over and over again to ultimately learn. It is basically impossible to learn it by hearing a professor tell you it. You have to see it on paper – or on a screen if you’re a digital textbook user.

Be sure to use to find all of the books you need. By shopping around and comparing prices, it will make your life a lot easier and will keep your wallet a lot thicker. Don’t worry about the prices on some books since you can find ones for reasonable prices if you do your homework. Plus it will make your academic life more fulfilling and easier to have the materials you need to make A’s and graduate with that coveted diploma.