Textbook shopping made cheap & easy These resources can help you lessen the dent in your

These resources can help you lessen the dent in your wallet when it’s time to hit the books

Textbooks can cost a fortune, but there are many ways for students to cut down on their textbook spending.
Textbooks can cost a fortune, but there are many ways for students to cut down on their textbook spending.

Queen’s Campus Bookstore

The Campus Bookstore has used copies of books available that you can buy at prices reduced by about 20 to 30 percent. A better option is to use the Campus Bookstore Classifieds, which allows you to buy and sell textbooks privately from other students. Postings can be found online at the Queen’s Campus Bookstore website at campusbookstore.com.

Ads on campus

Come September, buildings like the JDUC, Dunning Hall or Stauffer Library will be filled with ads from students selling their old textbooks. This is a great way to find amazing deals on the most widely-used textbooks, especially in the science and engineering faculties where new first-year textbooks often cost $200 or more. Don’t be afraid to shop around if you’re really determined to get the best deal.

Frosh leaders

Orientation week leaders are the easiest people to get in touch with to find the textbooks you need because they likely still have them on hand. Also, they are most likely to have textbooks that are up-to-date because they’ll have the most recent edition.

The Used Bookstore

Students can often save hundreds of dollars by going to the AMS Used Bookstore. Go as early as possible to beat the lines and get the best selection. Take good care of your books in first year and you can consign them next year and potentially make a profit.

Old editions

Professors usually assign the most recent edition of a book in the syllabus, but there’s often no variation between editions. Finding old editions can save you serious coin without sacrificing any necessary material.

Used bookstores in Kingston

There are several used bookstores in the downtown area and many of them will have used Queen’s textbooks. Check out Paper Back’s Bookstore, Turk’s, Wayfarer Books or Book Market Inc. All of them are located on Princess St., the main drag in downtown Kingston.


Sometimes searching online at a site like amazon.ca can yield surprising results. This is probably a better bet for supplementary textbooks, since most textbooks used at Queen’s are likely to be lurking around Queen’s somewhere.

Facebook Marketplace

A favourite resource for all things commercial in the Queen’s community, the Facebook Marketplace is widely-used by both sellers and buyers. Here you are most likely to obtain the low prices that you would from frosh leaders or ads on campus, while also having a fairly big selection of books.

Stauffer Library Reserve

If you don’t necessarily want to have your own copy of the textbook or journal articles covered in class, Stauffer Library will usually have copies of your class material that you can borrow for three hours at a time—enough to read and make notes. This is an excellent substitute for courseware.

Share with a friend

If you know someone who is in the same class as you, why not buy one textbook for the two of you and split the cost? Even if purchased new, you’ll pay 50 per cent less. Most likely you’ll be able to figure out a sharing schedule that works for both of you. You can also use your shared textbook as a good excuse to hold study sessions together.

Search for the book online

Many books used in universities can be found online either partially or their entire text. Using the Queen’s library portal, you can gain access to a lot of copyrighted material. .on the web. If you don’t mind doing a little digging, the search can be well worth it.

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