How to make book buying a breeze

The new school year is rolling around and the course textbook list is out now on the U of T Bookstore website.


Before you head on down to the bookstore and leave a dent in your credit card, you might want to try to:


    You can get used books from a number of places, including:

    a) Book exchange websites, such as TUSBE (my favorite)
    b) The UTSU book exchange
    c) Websites that sell used books, such as and even Amazon
    d) Your friends!

    Don’t forget that the U of T Bookstore also sells used books, but you might be able to get a better deal if you look around other places.


    If the book you want is the latest edition and you can’t get it used, then your best option is to buy it from the discount bookstore, located across the street from the U of T bookstore. The price difference isn’t crazy, but it’s probably the cost of a cheap meal.


    Sometimes if you Google hard enough, you can find a PDF version of a textbook you can view for free. You might prefer to have a hard copy of all the pages to carry around, though it can be handy for those times that you don’t have the book on you.

To make sure you are getting the right book for the right price, remember to:

  • Check the ISBN number of the book you want with the one you’re buying
  • Look around at the prices people are offering for the book and see if you can get a cheaper deal
  • See if the book is actually “Required” for the course; I often find that I don’t even use books that are “Recommended.”

If you have any tips on buying or selling textbooks, leave them in the comments!

7 Replies to “How to make book buying a breeze”

  1. The thing with the course textbook list is, DOUBLE CHECK that you’re getting the right textbook from the right professor from the right section.

    For example, the list had the summer prof of one of the psych class I’m taking instead of this fall’s, and the textbook is different. Or another class where they just didn’t have a list for, and it was showing up as another course.

    You’d think the list would be 100% accurate, but it’s not. So be careful, because it would suck realllllly bad if you find out after you plunked down $200 for a textbook you don’t need.

  2. After many years of school and thousands spent on books I suggest waiting a week or two after classes start to see if the book is actually needed. This depends on the course obviously.

    Check the various libraries short-term loan and see if they have the textbook there. Maybe you can save on one book and find yourself a great studying spot at the same time.

  3. I am trying to shop around for texts for my 1st year daughter (u of t) and wonder how I can find the ISBN for “required” books. Any hints? thank you

  4. @teena, I do not mean to sound rude here, but why on Earth would you shop for the books for your daughter? She’s the one who has to do it herself, people need to grow up. Why did she come to university after all?

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