Need some textbooks for class?

Your subject outline (listed in interact2) will describe textbooks as either prescribed or recommended.
  • Prescribed means the text is essential and you can expect that it will be integral to the subject. You can expect a lot of subject readings to come from your textbook throughout the semester. Subject coordinators and lecturers will assume you have access to this book for the whole semester.
  • Recommended means the text is not essential to the subject. There might be a few readings from a recommended text, but you might find the library website might have access to an ebook, or a scan of the chapter(s) needed.
Textbooks can be expensive, there is no getting around this. However, it is important that you have the prescribed textbook at the start of semester so you can get through your set readings on schedule. If you are lucky, sometimes all your reading materials are contained online in your Interact subject site and no text books are set.
CSU offers financial assistance to first year distance education students to purchase compulsory textbooks. applications for the first round of financial assistance close on March 7, 2016.

Some options for getting required text books

Buy brand new: print and/or digital 

The Co-op bookshop has stores on all the larger CSU campuses, and an online bookstore offering free shipping on orders over $50.  The Co-op is the official supplier of student textbooks and once advised of subject prescribed textbook endeavors to have all required textbooks in stock.
The Co-op bookshop also runs a buy-back scheme.
Search online by your textbook title to see if it is being sold new through other suppliers. Beware of buying digital editions that may be pirated versions, these are illegal. Alternate international editions that may have different content to a specifically Australian version.

Rent a copy

Some retailers will rent print or digital copies of textbooks. This obviously means you won’t be able to doodle all over your textbook. Try doing an Internet search for “rent textbooks” to see what retailers are worthwhile trying.

Buy second hand

The Co-op BookshopStudentVIP,  Discussion Forums in Interact for your Course, Gumtree and many places on the internet can offer second hand copies of textbooks for sale. 

Use care if buying older editions as they may contain superseded information. Second hand copies bought online privately may also take some time to be posted to you and their delivery time cannot be guaranteed.

Borrow from the library

If the library has been advised by subject lecturers of prescribed texts they will be made available for loan. (and if we don’t have them ask your lecturers to submit a request for them).

Text books might be available in print or digital versions. Digital versions (eBooks) may be subject to different usage, printing, copying and downloading conditions

Library copies of text books may be placed on reserve, meaning you can search for them by subject code. Our watchit tutorial has information on how to find reserve and ereserve materials.

If it is a prescribed text, it might be likely that it is in high demand and on loan for most of the semester on shortened loan times. Don’t count on it being available for exams!

Confused about how to search for your text books on the library website? Try Ask Us for some help
For an alternate visual guide to your text book options the below infographic gives you some alternate (and some North American) options.