If you still don't have a
digital camera, make sure to go out and buy one. It's another swiss army tool every college student should have. You'll never know when you need to snap pictures of your notes, your friends, or even textbooks. Yes, you heard it, snapping pictures of your textbooks. As taboo and wrong as it sounds, you could take pictures of your textbook as a backup to read on your computer. With textbook prices soaring, cutting cost every semester can be worth the hassle. 

Obviously copying a book, without owning the original will break some laws, so make sure you're willing to deal with consequences if you're caught. I on the other hand suggest you try to get the real book for cheaper, when possible. Although taking pictures of a textbook might be straightforward, it's actually more tedious then it sounds. Don't forget, some books might have over a thousand pages. Can you imagine snapping your camera a thousand times? I've don't it, and I realized how foolish it was. 


Here's how you do it:
  1. When selecting a book to copy, make sure you can find it in your school bookstore. While at the bookstore, make sure to ask if 
    the book your purchasing is returnable and when the return date would be.
  2. When you buy the book, make sure to keep the receipt in a safe place, or you might find yourself buying books you didn't intend to keep.
  3. Buy a book-stand if you can, it'll actually make it easier for you to take pictures if the book can be placed upright.
  4. If you somehow have a tri-pod, definitely use it, it'll keep your hands from getting exhausted, and it'll reduce noise in your images.
  5. Make sure you camera has at least 5 megapixles under its belt or you're going to have a hard time reading your stuff.
  6. The room that you use to take pictures needs to be well lighted. Usually using outdoor light through a window will suffice.
  7. Be patient and expect to spend an hour or two doing this. If you don't have a tri-pod or well lit room, you may want to check the quality of your images periodically to ensure that their readable. You really don't want to spend an entire hour going back taking pictures.
If you use an iPhone or have a Phone with a good camera, you can definitely try making this rig as a portable scanner. Link.

Well, you probably thought this was such an obvious idea, but interesting enough, no one I've ask does this. And they're smart not too. Doing this is not only annoying, but might be bad. You may need to have your book accessible at certain times or even during an open book test. If you don't have the book, you definitely pin yourself at a disadvantage.

While this might save you quite a bit of money, make sure to look at your situation and whether doing this is right for you.