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Books: How to buy reading list items: Home

A guide to help students source personal copies of reading list items.

Buying reading list books - should you buy them all?

Before buying books which are on your reading list you may want to do some checking and be sure chosen titles will be of value to you. Steps which can help with this are:

  • If not already specified, ask the class tutor if reading is core, recommended, or supplementary. You may find that only some of the books on the reading list will be core textbooks for the class.
  • Wait until classes have begun to determine which books you are being directed to most frequently.

Buying reading list books - new copies

Once you have decided which books to buy, you need to find a shop. Ordering online is the most common way people buy books, and there are many places to choose from. The list below is a selection to get you started.

It may be worthwhile checking pricing, availability and delivery times from various stores to ensure you are getting the best deal for you.

Buying reading list books - second hand copies

You may prefer to buy your reading list books second hand. This can have the benefit of being a cheaper option, especially for books you may only need for a short period of time. However, you should take extra care to check you are buying the correct edition and also be sure to check the book's condition prior to purchase.

It may be that previous students of your course post adverts of books they wish to sell, so this can be a good place to start. University of Strathclyde Students' Association (USSA) holds book sales from time to time, and online networking groups via social media may also provide opportunities to buy second hand copies.

There are also a range of online second hand book marketplaces available, examples of which are suggested below.

Buying readling list books - nowhere has my book in stock

Occasionally you may find that the title you need isn't listed for sale in online shops. If this is the case you may want to check the website of the publisher to see if the book is available to buy direct. If they do not have it listed for sale you should be able to find the ISBN which can help you get the title ordered by a bookstore.

Find a local book shop

You might want to buy a book from a physical store, rather than online. To find a local book shop you can try doing a map search in your chosen mapping tool. Apple, Bing, or Google should all enable you to find shops near you using the location services on your computer or mobile device.

There are also some online tools which you might help you find a local book shop, and the range of shops is not limited just to those we mention on this guide.

Other libraries

Depending on your course it might also be helpful to consult books which are held at other libraries.

Need more help?

If you still can't find your books, or want some additional help, then you can email us.

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