Textbook Information

What to Purchase

In this section, the library has provided some general advice to consider prior to purchasing your text books. Although this is a straightforward process most of the time, there are cases where additional resources, course packs, or special online access is required for a course. Take some time now to review the text book section.  Please note, ‘all’ questions about the purchase, access, delivery, refunds, etc. of books purchased from the bookstore ‘must’ go directly to the bookstore.

The bookstore posts textbook information approximately one month prior to a term’s start date. We advise you to only purchase resources for the term you are taking and only when they have been posted by the bookstore for that term.

Resource Options & Formats

  • Required Books: Required books are listed on your course site in the syllabus and the book store site. Note, your syllabus may include additional resources that the bookstore is not able to sell directly so always check your syllabus carefully.
  • Print Books:  Print books are still by far the most popular choice of format for students.  However, please note that when you are ordering books close to the start date of your course (e.g., 2 weeks), you should ensure you use Express Post or Priority Mail delivery. Although it will cost additional money, you are ensured a more prompt delivery.

  • eBooks
    • Book Store eBooks: Ebooks are available for most text books within the book store website.
      • Rental or Temporary ebooks are usually less expensive but only accessible for a short time, such as 180 days, depending on the options.
      • Permanent or Non Expiring ebooks are available for permanent purchase.

  • Used Books: You may also purchase used books, so long as the books are the correct edition for the course. However, please be aware that some courses require special online access to resources. Used text books will not provide that access, so please ensure that you are aware of the requirements of your course prior to purchasing your text book(s).

  • Course Packs: Course Packs are additional materials to support your studies, such as journal articles or book chapters. PLEASE NOTE… there is a difference between “supportive” and “required” course packs.  Please ensure that you are aware of the differences.
    • Supportive Course Packs: These are only OPTIONAL…they provide 20% of a required textbook for those who have purchased the full text but are waiting for a response.
    • Required Course Packs: Only “Required” course packs are necessary to purchase. They are resources not available online for free or in our library collection.
  • Supplementary Materials: There are some materials that are additionally necessary for your courses. These may be located in the Book Store site, or links from your course site, such as: Business Case Studies, Psychological tests, or required course pack materials (as mentioned above). It’s always important to carefully read your syllabus to understand what you need for a course.

Where to Purchase?

  • University Bookstore: The University Book Store (Nuskule Inc.) is the primary online site for purchasing your text books for your courses, but you are welcome to use other sources.
  • VitalSource: VitalSource sells access to ebooks, both temporary and permanent purchases.
  • Amazon.ca/Kindle Option (Canadian Site): Amazon provides access options to both print books and ebook Kindle options accessible on tablets, PCs, etc.
  • Amazon.com (American Site): The American site of Amazon has more options, but we cannot guarantee all services will be in effect for Canada.
  • Public Library Option: Check with your public library, many academic textbooks can be brought in on an Inter-library loan.

When to Purchase?

  • You can purchase your books when they are posted on the bookstore site for the term you are studying: The bookstore posts textbook information approximately one month prior to a term’s start date. We advise you to only purchase resources for the term you are taking and only when they have been posted by the bookstore for that term. For example, if you are taking courses in Fall term of 2021, you would “not” purchase books listed for Spring or Summer of 2021. You would wait until the courses for Fall were posted.
  • DO NOT PURCHASE TOO EARLY: All decisions about textbook editions are made by the Faculty. Sometimes titles can be changed quickly due to a book going ‘out of print’ or the removal or inaccessibility of an ebook. It’s best to wait until you see that information posted on the bookstore site. If you have questions about delivery, access, etc. please contact the bookstore directly.

Textbook Exchange

Dear Students,

This is a brief notice from Library Services as a reminder that the selling or distribution of scanned PDFs of textbooks is a violation of copyright, and counts as a form of academic dishonesty.

Library Services asks that you refrain from selling or purchasing PDF copies of textbooks as we will have to forward information about such activities to our academic administration for review as well as reconsider allowing student access to such forums in future. It is “illegal” to exchange, sell, accept illegally scanned materials. Only print book reselling is acceptable.

Forums are meant only for the resale of currently required “print” books between students which is considered an acceptable practice. Although Library Services shares student concerns over the price of textbooks as set by Publishers, we also must maintain copyright law and honest academic conduct.

If you have a question concerning what is acceptable to purchase or sell, please contact our Textbook Facilitator, Melissa Discola <[email protected]> who monitors the forums.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter,


Paul J Graham, University Librarian