• textbooks,  tutorials

    don’t carry your textbooks to class for the love of backs everywhere

    For two courses, I have the tutorials scheduled before the lectures. Do I have to attend the tutorials during the first week of classes, even though I haven’t attended the first lecture yet? Also, do I need to bring my textbooks to classes or are they mostly for studying? Thanks!


    hey there,

    i have never heard of a tutorial that starts before a lecture. i think it’s safe to say all your tutorials will be starting during the second week. (if this is not the case, they may make a note of it in the timetable, as they did for a few first-year mathematics courses, for example, so it might be worth double-checking your courses on the timetable, just in case).

    secondly, please don’t bring your textbooks to lecture.

    if you need to bring any course readings to class (likely to a tutorial rather than any lecture), your prof/TA will tell you. 90% of the time though, nothing is needed besides a notebook or a laptop, and it’s really not worth the backache.



  • first year,  keeners,  textbooks

    the internet can help you buy books wow amazing.

    Hi aska~

    I was just thinking about application to different universities and I was looking at the text books needed for each course. Would you know the titles of textbooks needed for first-year business/commerce (I can’t tell them apart) course?

    Thanks! It would be a big help…


    hey there,

    Basically, it’s a lot more complicated and time-consuming than you could ever imagine. But at the end of the day, it works, and it’s actually not that hard to do all on your own when you’ve figured out the system. So don’t fret, little pet.

    I don’t know what the deal is at other universities, but here at UofT, the bookstore, starting sometime in late August, can tell you exactly what books you need for all your courses by taking your course list from ROSI, which contains your student account. All you do is click on the ‘Find your textbooks’ button on the right side of the homepage, enter your UTORID and password, and it takes you to a list of all your textbooks. Internet magic!

    However, this all becomes possible only a couple of weeks before school actually starts, once you’re actually a student here. If you’re applying for September 2014, you can go to the UofT bookstore yourself and see what books are being used this year (they’re organized by course), but it’s not guaranteed that those same books will be used next year.

    Honestly, I’d say it’s too early for you to be worrying about textbooks (just enjoy the freedom of not having to drop half a grand on them yet, seriously), but if you really want to get a feel for what they’ll be using next year, just have a browse in the UofT bookstore.

    Good luck, amigo, and I hope you find some meaningful use for the ridiculous amount of money you will soon be spending.


  • textbooks

    here’s the $200 textbook you need along with your $7500 tuition


    I’m starting U of T for the first time, in Life Sciences.And well… I’m wondering is there any other place to gettextbooks from other than the U of T bookstore?

    I mean to say, are there any previous U of T studentsselling their used books to students?

    And if there are, where can I find them?



    Hey hey!

    Lucky for you, yes, there are certainly other places to get textbooks aside from the UofT Bookstore and its lovely prices and laaaaaame return policies.

    A few options to consider:

    1. tusbe.com <3
    2. This University of Toronto Textbook Marketplace thing.
    3. What this is (no longer available).
    4. People that talk on the UofT reddit page.
    5. UTSU Book Exchange.

    all results brought to you by your resident let-google-that-for-you-er,
    askastudent. 😉

  • textbooks

    so long sweet summer


    How do I find my book list for the courses I’m enrolled in? (I’m beginning my first year this September).

    On Blackboard it says that I’m not enrolled in any courses.

    Thanks for the help.


    Hey hey

    As long as you’ve paid your fees, you can access your booklist on the UofT Bookstore website — provided, of course, your professor ordered them from there.

    If you can’t see any list there, then you’ll have to wait until your professor sets up Blackboard for your class and the syllabus becomes available.

    But dude enjoy this one last week of summer. You don’t need books yeeeeeet. 😉



  • textbooks

    bringing music to discounted textbooks

    Hi there!

    I’m going into first year music education at U of T and I was wondering if you happen to know where I can access a list of textbooks I will need for September that are secondhand so I won’t be spending a fortune! I’ve tried looking around the internet but I haven’t had much luck with finding textbooks for my music courses (history, theory, etc). If you happen to know where I can a website or place that sells used music textbooks please let me know!!

    Thank you so much!


    Hey music-educator,

    This website is just a lovely source for finding used books. You contact the owner and just meet on a shady corner with some cash and trade up.
    I would suggest waiting until you attend the course before purchasing any textbooks. This way you know which books are required and which are recommended, if you like the course enough to stay in it and the specific edition of the book.

    snuggles and baroque music,


  • economics,  textbooks

    Step right up, buy your textbook

    Hi I am wondering if you know what textbook should i get for ECO 105 course? I saw one girl had it, it was big, very BIG and was not actually a book ,but a stapled reading from different sources. A4 format pages and very thick..and it was on course syllabus but i lost it and there are no posts on blackboard about it..
    Thank you!


    Heyyo Student-who-is-finally-realizing-textbooks-are-necessary-for-success,

    You have a couple of options here,

    1) Check your Eco 105 page on blackboard again. Professors generally post their syllabus there, either under its own tab, course material or content. If its not there, email either your prof or your TA for a copy because im assuming that eventually you’ll need to know things on it, like, oh i don’t know, test/assignment dates and all the readings you’ve missed in the last month not having the textbook.

    2) Check this out : those are the Eco courses and the books that are required for the course. If your prof is Hare, it tells you to go to the class to for instructions

    Now, you can go to the U of T bookstore which is located in the Koffler Students Center (corner of St.George and College) and ask them in person, but my best bet would be to just turn to some one in the class and ask them where they got their book.

    Love Always,

  • textbooks

    this is textbook

    Hey askastudent,

    First off, let me thank you profoundly for the website, it really has answered a lot of my questions about day to day life at U of T. My question is, are students required to buy the paperback/hardcovered version of their textbooks? I’m wondering whether or not I can use ebook/pdf versions of the textbooks (assuming they’re available in the format) to reduce the amount of weight I would have to carry around since I’m already planning to carry around a laptop and I’ve always done my studying using electronic texts so I’d prefer their functionality over actual texts.



    Feel free to use whatever textbook you want. I’ve actually been wondering about this – do you have like an eBook/kindle reader? Are they “en vogue” for university students these days? Askastudent is practically a dinosaur but from what I gather, most textbooks won’t be available except in their weighty, hardcover format. If there is an eBook version, by all means bring your laptop and read along. But if there ain’t, you might have to bring along your textbook for group tutorials and seminars, since you’ll all be reading at the same times and cross referencing the same material. In addition to textbooks, many classes have photocopied readers that you’ll have to bring along. I’d recommend getting a pretty kickass backpack. I like these ones (when did Askastudent turn into a fashion blog/can people ask me more style questions?).

    Generally textbooks are still an unfortunate reality for college students lives and backs. You’ll get more deets about where to buy your books and readers on the first day of class!

    xoxo, Askastudent

  • fees,  first year,  money,  new kids,  textbooks

    Read it and weep.


    I’m doing a budget for the coming school year (aka figuring out how much money I can spend on Thai takeout/going to shows/clothes/other fun stuff whilst still having enough to feed myself) and have general figures for all my expenses except books. Could you give me a ball-park estimate of what a first-year Humanities student should expect to spend on books? I’m taking an economics course, a german course, and three social sciences courses, if that helps.



    Before I answer your question, I want to say that… in the first week of class you will receive a course syllabus from your Prof. This will list the exact required readings for the course, and where you can pick them up – officially. Generally, it is not a good idea to buy your books before attending your first class. It’s common for students to switch up courses in the first week. You don’t want to have spent a billion dollars on books for courses that you ain’t takin’. Then again, you could avoid bookstore lineups by going early for courses that you know you MUST take.

    But for now, for you… an estimate of book costs… yes. Let’s get down to business.

    There are two ways to answer your question:

    The standard response is… one thousand dollars. This is a very rough estimation, based on an equally approximate average of $200 per full course, or $100 per half course. Again, this is rough math (the only kind a humanities student like you really knows). Also, Humanities course books will certainly be cheaper than Science courses, namely because there are no goggles or lab coat required to read Shakespeare. What I am basing these numbers on? The word of a financial aid advisor, costs of books at the U of T bookstore, personal experience, and the positioning of the moon in the seventh house.

    If you want a more accurate estimate of your course book costs, you can try to find out the prices for each course. I did some investigative work based on what you said you’re taking.

    ECO100Y: Intro to Economics: for the Summer offering of this course, the U of T bookstore sold the course pack for $145.50.

    GER100Y: Intro to German I: the German Department actually publishes its 2009-10 course syllabi online (amazing). The required textbook is listed there, and costs $45 on amazon.com. If it is sold at the Bookstore it will cost more. I promise.

    POL103Y: Canada in Comparative Perspective: the Bookstore sold this book for $100 for the Summer offering of the course. Amazon.com is selling it for $95. Wooo. There is also a course reader (a bound collection of journal articles) that is required and typically costs around $100.

    POL108Y1: Global Networks: last year’s course had three required readings that are available at the U of T Women’s Bookstore (where all the cool books are). Online they cost $10 + $10 + $15. Weekly readings are actually posted (for free) on the course website. Double wooo.

    SOC101Y: Intro to Sociology: Prof. Brym actually designated a series of his OWN books as required readings. This is a moderately irritating cash grab, but then again, if you ain’t a Rotman Prof you ain’t exactly ballin’. The costs on the publisher’s website are: $104 + $60 + $23 = $187. You also need to buy an “iClicker” from the Bookstore for $35 – which is all the rage in Con Hall these days.

    Okay! I’m exhausted. The point in doing all of this research is less about giving you exact monetary sums, and more about showing you the different ways of finding out what + how much your books are. Got it Watson?

    Now, that was an “official” response to the issue of buying books… but the starving student response is… considerably cheaper. Below is a list of alternative methods/tips for getting your course books without succumbing to the inflated prices of the man.

    a) Check out the library system: U of T’s library collection is friggin huge (the plus side of being at a massive university). Depending on how large your course is and how frequently the readings are required, you may be able to get by signing them out. Typically, Profs will put a few copies of a course reader in the “course reserves” section of the library. This limits your sign-out period to a day or two, or maybe the books can’t leave library. You can photocopy select readings from these if you want too.

    b) Differentiate between required and recommended readings: when you’re poor… the word “recommended” takes on a new meaning – if you catch my drift. Usually these books are only useful if you are totally struggling, you are an ultra-keener, or for when you are writing essays.

    c) Locate second hand bookstores. There is one across from the bookstore on College St. They have new and used books, and they are cheaper. Just find out if the editions are the same (they change very minimally every other year or so… just to milk us for more money). The Prof will tell you if an older edition will suffice.

    d) Buy books directly from students who have taken the course last year. You will often find advertisements in res bulletin boards. Check these out even if you don’t live there.

    e) As suggested before, ordering from amazon.com, or directly from the publisher may be cheaper… depending on the shipping cost.

    f) This may or may not be illegal… buuuut you can possibly photocopy a library’s copy of the entire textbook. Here’s what you do: get your hands on a copy of the textbook from the library, gather up a bunch of friends/acquaintances in your course, take the book to a local copy centre (the less mainstream, the better), and order as many copies as required. Why is this awesome? It’s waaay cheaper. Your fellow copyright infringers and you will become instant fugitives… I mean friends. And your version will come in a coiled binding that you won’t feel bad about defacing with highlighting and scribbles.

    If I had even half of a moral in my body I would NOT suggest this on a University-sponsored forum, like askastudent. Lucky for you I don’t. So do it, but don’t go telling people I told you to. Do we understand each other?! I thought so.

    The flipside to buying cheap books is selling old books. Post ads in residences or sell them back to the bookstore. This is actually quite a viable option. Apparently you can get back up to 50% of the original cost.

    Will all the money that you save on books might I suggest spending it this way….

    Indian takeout from Banjara

    Muchos nachos at the Green Room (beware of funky draught beer)

    Performances by the Drama Program at the Helen Garpheghasdfhgeklfns Playhouse

    Streetcar + ferry ride + bike rental + picnic on Toronto Island

    Get fancy and have one drink at Panorama (a better view than the CN tower will offer… because you can actually see the CN tower)

    Classic/Alternative/Delayed movies at the Bloor Cinema (get a membership)

  • internet,  keeners,  textbooks

    well, it’s out there somewhere.

    FYI: There actually is an online book exchange that exists. I know this because a friend of mine that is an alumnus of UTM actually created and developed the site. However, I do not have the website address handy. And seeing as though school’s well on it’s way and the vast majority of students have probably already purchased their books (been ripped off), I’m not sure how much use it would be now, but I will forward it to ya when I find it!

    thanks guy. incoming address at some point soon….