Finding Textbooks for Free:
Search the Alkek Library Catalog by Title and Author.
- Check to make sure it is the same edition you need. Sometimes the library has older editions. If this is the case, check with your professor to see if it's ok to use an older edition.
- If it has a Due Date that means it is checked out. You can "request" the book, and when it is due back, you may be next in line to check it out.
Search Reserves by Course or Professor to see if it is on Reserve.
- It is possible that another professor put it on Reserve—you can check out those also (for 2 hours, inside library use only).
- A professor’s personal copy won’t appear in the Catalog, but you can find it under Reserves.
If the book is NOT available in Alkek, you can use Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to try to borrow a copy from another library.
- ILL is an option, but it's not guaranteed that a lending library will loan the book or how long they will lend it for.
- It's free to use the Interlibrary Loan service, but you have to create an ILLiad account first.
Finding TextBooks Cheap:
Buy it used at a local bookstore or online through places like Amazon.
Chegg.com is a site for renting textbooks—both ebooks and hard copies.
Coursesmart has ebooks. They require a software download and are sold by limited-time subscriptions—typically by semester, so it’s like renting. Usually there is a choice of downloading an ebook to one computer, or logging into a site to view the text.
Cheapest Textbooks searches many sites for the cheapest new, used and rental texts.
Booksprice.com searches many sites for cheap book and ebook prices, and includes music and DVDs.
Also, see the eBooks page for other options for finding Free Textbooks. (Scroll to the bottom of the page.)
Guy Dore, Reserve, Periodicals & Media Assistant