My search for bargain books

Along with this brand, shiny new semester comes the lists of pricey books we have to purchase. If you're anything like me, you're on a mission to find these babies for as little money as possible and I'm here to help! Here are my tips on places to look in order to get all your books while putting as small of a dent in your wallet as possible.

Book Stores:
The Used Book Room: SCC B03
The Used Book Room is an RSU service that allows Ryerson students to buy and sell used testbooks. That's right, you can make cash from selling your used books! Simply bring your book in and once it sells they will write you a cheque. Should your book not sell after a year, you'll be asked to come pick it up. There have been students lined up all week selling books so I'll bet they've got at least one that you need. I saved $50 on the textbook for one of my history courses this semester, SCORE!

The Discount Book Store: 258 Victoria St.
Not affiliated with Ryerson university, this store is another place to check out when you're looking to save money on this semester's books. Although their selection is limited, I've had good luck with them in the past. Plus, they're the people who are constantly handing out flyers on Gould Street so you can always check whether your classes are on the list to get an idea of whether or not they're likely to have the books you need.

BMV Books: 10 Edward Street
Another great book store that's close to campus. While they don't specialize in textbooks specifically I've had good luck finding novels for English courses as well as philosophy texts. Plus, it's super fun to browse around in. I'm often found lurking the Tom Robbins area in the Literature section, so if you see me, say hi. :)

Facebook groups:
"Ryerson Books for Sale":!/group.php?gid=2228381513&v=wall and "Used Ryerson Text Books For Sale":!/group.php?gid=41675229853&v=wall
Both of these groups allow students who are looking to buy or sell used textbooks to post what they have or are looking for in order to connect with other students.

Update your status: If all else fails, do a status update! I've had good luck just posting a simple "Does anyone have a copy of X that they'd be willing to sell?" In fact I'm getting one of my course readers FOR FREE just from using this method. It never hurts to ask.

Web sites:
Abebooks is a site that allows you to search the collections of booksellers from around the world. I've found textbooks for as low as $1 and the $119 Financial Management for Non-Profits textbook I have to buy this semester? Yep, I saved $40 on that... not too shabby! Book descriptions are very detailed and all purchases are backed by the web site.

This web site allows university students in Toronto to post the textbooks they are selling. You are then able to search by title, author or course code to find the books you need. This will require you to meet up with a complete stranger so if you go this route, be smart about it: meet in a well-lit public space, tell other people where you're going and bring a friend.

Perhaps this is an obvious one but Amazon often sells books for much less than their list price and offers free shipping on orders over $25. The site will also connect you to sellers who have used copies of the book for sale.

And my one last, sneaky trick for you is (and you'll have to save this one for next semester):
When our winter schedules were posted in December I e-mailed my profs to find out if I could get our reading lists in advance. They were all very accomodating and doing so allowed me to scour used book stores over the holidays (something I like to do anyway) and find used copies of as many of them as I could without scrambling to do so at the already hectic beginning of the semester.

Know of another good place to find used course books on the cheap? E-mail so I can add it to the list! :)


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