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Looking For Options to Offset the High Cost of Traditional Textbooks?

Posted in Academic Communities, Borrowing, Course Reserves, Faculty, General News, Library Services, Students, and Tutoring, Tutorials & Tips

We all understand that the prices of textbooks are extremely high. CSUF estimates that the average student should expect to spend $1,656 a year on books and supplies.  Unfortunately, the Pollak Library, as a rule, does not purchase the latest editions of textbooks. We might have older editions, donated by faculty or students. Sometimes, professors will put their own copies of a textbook on two-hour reserve, but for the most part, you will not be able to find the textbooks you need at the library.

Everyone involved, from professors to publishers to bookstores know that the expense of textbooks can be a tremendous financial burden, so, for many textbooks, other options are available besides purchasing a print copy of the book.

Semester Rental: Some textbooks are available for rent through The Titan Bookstore.  Those books that are not available for rent through the bookstore might be available through other textbook rental services.

Electronic Textbooks: Many textbooks are now available in electronic formats.  These E-books are significantly less expensive that the print editions. The Titan Bookstore has a number of textbooks available in electronic format.  These books can be read by downloading the free Xplana Ebook Reader to your computer. If your textbook is not available electronically through The Titan Bookstore, try, a consortium of leading textbook publishers that make thousands of their books available online in a variety of formats and price structures.

Comparison Shop Online: Many online bookstores sell discounted or used textbooks.  You can find a list of these stores, as well as more detailed information about textbooks at the Pollak Library by visiting our guide Textbooks and The Library: Availability and Options.

On a positive note, although we don’t have textbooks, you should be able to find most assigned course readings, whether they are books, articles, or other materials, in the library.  If you have any further questions about textbooks, or any other library-related issue, please feel free to contact us anytime by visiting