Features | Wrecked: Textbook-trawling

Now that you’ve washed ashore, you might as well learn something – say, from a textbook. You can buy them here:

Haven Books

2074 Aylmer

This SSMU-owned bookstore is a good place to find used textbooks, but the prices are set by the students selling them, which means that your savings depend on your peers. Haven has had some problems, too. Despite SSMU’s efforts last year, the store doesn’t carry many new textbooks or course packs. Still, it’s certainly worth a visit. You never know.

The McGill Bookstore

3420 McTavish

This behemoth carries the latest edition of every book and course pack you need, but its prices are about as convenient as those 20-foot waves crashing down on your poopdeck. Think of it as a necessary evil – the majority of your course materials will probably be waiting for you here. If you need a break from the madhouse that is the bi-annual textbook rush, head to the bookstore, the café, or the computer store on the second floor, which offers good prices with noticeable student discounts.

The Word

469 Milton

Small and cramped, but a superb independent bookstore to buy or sell used textbooks and other good reads. Near the beginning of each term, they kindly post a list of in stock texts to help you decide whether you need to throw down your anchor and step in.


That new internet thing

The Gutenberg Project (gutenberg.org) catalogs books in the public domain and offers free e-books of works published before 1923 in their original language. Amazon, eBay, and other online bookstores may offer good prices, but be wary of shipping costs, especially if they’re coming from the U.S. For a quicker, more local way to save some cash, look on the McGill classifieds (mcgill.ca/classified). They’re bursting with students looking to get rid of their old course material, and when you meet up to make the exchange, you might even get some free advice about the class.


2220 McGill College

A larger independent bookstore that sells new books, often at better prices than the McGill Bookstore. Some profs will order required course books here instead. It also has a decent selection of magazines.


Here, there, and everywhere

If a book is required reading for a class, it should be on reserve at the appropriate library. Find out which one at mcgill.ca/library. If you want to save money or only need to read a small portion of the book, renting them for a short while – often about two to three hours – is a good option.