Tips on Finding Textbooks*

Tips on Finding Textbooks*

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*This information is provided solely for your convenience and the UCR Libraries accepts no responsibility for the content of the listed sites. The listing of a company or site does not imply UCR endorsement of the company, or a site's content, products, or services. UCR makes no warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or suitability of the information contained on listed sites, or that every useful site is listed. Transactions made as a result of this information are the exclusive responsibility of the student.

Need a textbook? Short on money? Look here for help!

The UCR Libraries has compiled this fact sheet to help students save money when buying textbooks.

  • Be sure to check with your instructor that the version of the textbook you select can be used in your class. 
  • Use ISBN numbers (ex.: ISBN: 9780495599791) to search accurately for the exact textbook needed.
  • Students may not request required textbooks through Interlibrary Loan.

On-Campus Textbook Options

  • UCR Libraries: Your textbook may be on reserve in the Rivera, Orbach Science, Music or Multimedia Libraries. Search by Instructor or Course in Scotty.  Students may not request required textbooks through interlibrary loan.
  • UCR Campus Store: You can order your textbooks online at the Campus Store; some textbooks are available as used books, e-books or rentals. Rentals save 54% off the new book purchase price.
  • R'Books: R'Books was created by UCR for UCR students. It is a general bulletin board for students to buy, sell and trade their used books. You are required to login using the University's Central Authentication System. Only UCR students are able to use R'Books. If you have not created a profile for the UCR Campus Store website, you must do so the first time you use R'Books

Purchase Used Textbooks

Used textbooks are cheaper than new textbooks. You often can purchase used textbooks from the UCR Campus Store, the University Book Exchange near campus, or online.


Electronic versions of textbooks are often cheaper than print versions. Many major retailers sell e-books. If you do not see an e-book listed on the retailers website, check the book publisher's website for an electronic version.

The UCR Libraries also subscribes to many e-books.  You may be able to purchase e-books from the UCR Campus Store.

UCR Libraries-Owned E-Books (Check Scotty) Commercial Retailers

Comparison Shop

Use ISBN numbers to comparison shop among the major retail sites or use sites that compare prices from multiple sources.

Online Book Swaps

Certain sites are set up to allow you to trade books with others online.

Rent Textbooks

Certain sites are set up to allow you to rent textbooks for a designated timeframe, including the UCR Campus Store. Make sure to return your books on time as late fees can be substantial. Be clear on terms and conditions of rental.

Free Downloads/Open Source

Many books that are no longer in copyright can be downloaded for free.

Ask for Unbundled Textbooks

Many textbooks come "bundled" with CDs, DVDs, and workbooks.  Ask your instructor to consider assigning unbundled textbooks (i.e. just the textbook) if he/she is not going to use the supplementary material.

Last modified: 8/10/2015 12:57 PM by K. Furuta

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Multimedia Library: (951) 827-5606

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