Most children in Spain will be going back to school in the second week of September, which still leaves quite a bit of time to get all the new materials and books. However, it’s best to start as early as possible, as a scramble for books in early September often causes them to run out, and prices to go up.
Last year, families in Spain spent on average €379.71 per child on school material, with the autonomous region of Comunidad Valenciana having the most expensive text books. Here are a few easy ways to save money on them:
Compare prices in different bookshops
The website Ahorra en Libros allows you to compare prices in different bookshops, so you can find the cheapest new books. You can search them easily by using the ISBN number.
Many independent bookshops will give you the maximum authorised discount of 5% on books for Bachillerato, and up to 10 or 15 per cent for primary and secondary school books, so it’s worth asking for a discount.
Second hand websites
Of course, the best way to save money (and to be less wasteful) is to buy second hand. Websites like OkLibros and Relibrea have been set up in recent years specifically to help people find school books.
Meanwhile many parents have also been using re-sale websites like Wallapop, where users can buy, sell or exchange with people in their neighbourhood.
Some bookshops like La Casa del Libro also have their own second hand book sections, which you can search on their website.
When buying used books, be sure to check that the ISBN number matches the one in the list provided by the school. Text books have to be reedited with new information every few years, so some of them get outdated very quickly.
Getting in touch with other parents at the school
Perhaps the most effective way of swapping books is by getting in touch with other parents. It’s likely many of the books on the curriculum will be the same as the previous year, so it’s worth trying to find someone in the year above who can pass on their books, and someone in the year below who might be able to reuse yours.
The school’s own second hand scheme
Many schools have been organising their own book swaps, where children effectively “rent” their books and return them at the end of the school year. However, this means the books need to be looked after throughout the year and kept in good condition if you want to get your deposit back.