Now that everyone has done battle with ROSI and (hopefully) come out victorious (if a bit wounded) it’s time to start thinking about textbooks! Well actually it’s a bit early to start thinking of textbooks but at the rate this summer is going it will be September before we know it. When to buy textbooks is always a topic of debate; some prefer to wait until after the first class so that they will know if anything has been changed or how vital the book is to the class; while others like to buy them ahead of the first class because they like to be super prepared. It’s all up to you!
The U of T BookstoreThe U of T Bookstore is the primary place that I go to to get my textbooks. It’s the main place that profs order books to so it is a pretty safe bet for your books. In addition to fiction books and textbooks for most classes the bookstore has stationary/school supplies, a Canada Post office, U of T gear, and a tech/electronics section. Books in the bookstore are grouped on shelves with labels for each class so you know you’re getting the right stuff (but its best to go in with a list, just in case someone put a pile somewhere incorrect).The bookstore doesn’t have much stock right now but come September it will be plentiful.
I like buying from the U of T Bookstore because you often get to buy good condition used copies of the books you need and have the option to rent books out (you can highlight and write in rented books and also have the option of buying them out before the end of the semester if you decide you want to keep it).
The Bob Miller Book Room The Bob Miller Book Room on Bloor is another place that professors may order books. In my experience literature classes, ethics, and Trin One books have been bought here. The store is pretty small and has very helpful staff and labels under stacks of books for specific classes. One thing about this store is that there are no returns so be VERY sure that this is the right book/that you are staying in the course. They also have kind of weird hours and weren’t open on the Saturday I went there for reasons unknown.
RobartsRobarts obviously isn’t a bookstore but it does come in handy for accessing course textbooks. Some textbooks are in the stacks and can be found through the library website, while others are put into the course reserves. The course reserves is a small section on the 4th floor of Robarts (take the escalators or the floor 1-5 elevator) and is non-lending, meaning you have to sit in there and read whatever you need to. I found this useful for times when you aren’t sure if you’ll be staying in the course, or when your prof has “recommended” textbooks that you don’t want to buy but want to glance over a bit before a midterm.
Indigo The Indigo in the Manulife centre (Bay and Bloor) can be useful for some novels or other books that might not have been ordered in time from the bookstore. They also have some pretty cool notebooks and gift items. Obviously it’s a chain bookstore so it has tons of fiction and non-fiction books plus home and lifestyle sections. Its super close to campus and basically a great store so that’s why I’ve included it.
Some handy websites:
• tusbe.com is a website where you can list and find books and purchase them from other U of T students. There can be some good deals from upper years desperately trying to make some room in their apartments so that they aren’t crushed by falling stacks of textbooks. I know you’ve all heard the “don’t meet up with strangers from the internet” blurb 100 times but really bring a friend and meet sellers in public places, do it for me so I can sleep at night.
• Amazon is another place where you can buy books. You generally can get good deals here (some used books may actually be new and super cheap), one downside being that you do have to wait for it to ship which can be annoying when you have readings to do.
Super secret tip that I’m telling you because I like you and you read all the way to the end: make sure to check out the used book sales happening across campus in the fall for textbooks for your winter courses. I did this in first year and found one of my books for $4!
So U of T, do you have any tips you have for scoring good deals on your textbooks? Leave them in the comments below!