Broke Student to Broke Student: Textbooks



The semester is already well in session, but some of us have yet to set foot in the library or the bookstore. Thanks to this thing called the syllabus – a piece of paper that gives us a list of required textbooks for a particular course – entering the library or the bookstore may just trigger a hypo-glycemic panic attack. Unfortunately, that isn’t the only thing students have to worry about. Checking the U of T bookstore only to see the amount of money your text books are going to cost you can make you go Macaulay-Culkin-Home-Alone-panicky.


At this point, you should evaluate what is more important: paying for your textbooks and starving, or putting that money towards your phone bill and failing school.


Luckily, you don’t have to choose! Thanks to the course reserves section of the library, at our school, you can check out course textbooks (even those on different campuses, including Sheridan College)! Here’s the link for those of you suffering from broke-studenitis, an incurable disease/lifestyle we lead as university students.

Now, of course, there is a downside: you can only check out a book for a maximum of two hours. But, to work around this, all you have to do is return after your time is up and wait 15 minutes to renew your book again. Side note: this might suck if you commute, like me, or if you don’t want to study at school.

Another method: you could also use the pdf scanner which is located at that the UTM library on the second floor (or main floor – I always get confused). It’s located right in front of the printers beside the bookshelves.  All you need is to take out your course reserve textbook and a USB. Insert your USB and press the green button. You can only do a chapter each time because of copyright issues. It saves it as a PDF on your USB and you are set. This, my fellow UTM-ers, is how I, a broke student, have gone a semester without buying one single book.

Now, there are probably some of you who do like to own the actual textbook, but still happen to be broke. There are other cheap solutions. Consider renting the used version of the book at the U of T bookstore, or go on Kijiji and Amazon.

What are some of your tips for saving that mula when purchasing textbooks? Leave a comment below!