When and where should I get my textbooks?


The required and recommended textbooks for a course are listed in the syllabus of the course. The syllabus for the courses you are enrolled in can be found on the Student Portal (Quercus). You will need to have your UTORid setup to log in. Many department websites post detailed course descriptions that may list required textbooks or the first few required readings. All required textbooks are sold at the UofT Bookstore and they have a “Find Your Textbooks” tool that can be used after the second week of August to find the required and recommended textbooks for courses.

Many students prefer to wait until the first class before buying their textbooks. Many courses, usually in upper years, also do not require textbooks so it is advisable to hear what the professor has to say about the relevance of a textbook for the course before buying the book. Another advantage of buying textbooks after the first class is if you decide to drop the course or take another course instead, you do not lose money on buying a textbook which you may not need.

Buying new or used textbooks is a personal choice, however, it is generally cheaper to buy used textbooks. Amazon has a large collection of books and many can be found on sale. It is also prudent to check other sites like or Toronto University Student’s Book Exchange (TUSBE), TORBOK and the UofT Facebook group for buying and selling textbooks.

Another option is e-books, so if you are comfortable doing readings, practise sets, etc. from a screen as opposed to a paper book, then that could save you some money. A wide range of e-textbooks are available from Amazon and the Google Play Store.

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