Finding Affordable Textbooks

When it comes to finding cheap textbooks, every bit of help counts.  Whether you’re studying for your masters in a closely related field, or studying for the Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) exam, the greater variety of resources you have, the better.  Often times, you may find that one particular author will use their own version of shorthand, or nomenclature for variables.  Picking up a few different textbooks will give you an idea of which versions of equations are most often used, and will also provide you with slightly different perspectives on the understanding of a concept.

So How Do You Find a Cheap Textbook? 

One of the best ways to find a cheap textbook on Amazon, is to be notified when the price gets below the point that you’d consider buying.  Head over to and let them automate the process for you.  All you need to do is start adding the textbooks you are interested in on Amazon to your Amazon wish list. Then link your account to camelcamelcamel and set your price points that you wish to be notified.  The system will notify you by email when the price for your desired books (either new or used versions) reaches a certain price point.

Not Interested in Buying?

You can also rent your textbooks on websites like,, or Renting is a great option particularly when you know you will only need the books for a short window of time, such as studying for the CIH exam, and you know that the material is something you’re probably not going to need to refer back to once the exam is written.  Good examples of this would be ventilation or ergonomics, which are aspects of the industrial hygienists’ practice which seem to be fading out and given to specialized professionals.

Kill Two Birds (or More) with One Stone 

The last alternative option, but certainly not the least, is to reach out to those in your field.  You may be able to borrow the book for a short period, catch up with your industry peers at the same time, network, and gain some mentoring from someone who’s been down the same path before you. Try talking to your local industry hygiene association, such as the local AIHA sections, to ask for help.  You’d be surprised how often others are willing to help someone who’s in the same position they’ve been in at some point in the past.

Do you have any other tricks to sourcing cheap textbooks or access to industry journals?  Let us know in the comments section below. 

July 19, 2015

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