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Affordable Textbooks & Open Educational Resources

Summary of Ways to Reduce Your Textbook Costs

  1. Check to see if your textbook is on reserve at the library.  
  2. Double check your textbook by title in the Library search box to see if the library has it but its not on reserve. 
  3. Check for rental options.
  4. If you qualify, check the EOP Textbook Lending Library.
  5. Shop Around! See the Other Money Saving Tips for suggestions.
  6. Sell your old textbooks to the BayTree Bookstore.
  7. Don't buy the wrong books! Check the Schedule of Classes for the exact titles (and editions) of the books you need. 

Check out the boxes below for more details.

Is Your Textbook on Reserve at the Library?

Search for course materials by course code, instructor, or title...


About Textbooks on Reserve at the Library

Some (not all) textbooks are available on reserve at the library where they can be checked out for 2 hours at a time. Use the Reserves search box above to find out if your textbook is available this way.

Don't see your textbook listed on reserve? Double check your textbook title in the main Library Search box (box above right). Your textbook may be in the library but not yet on the course reserve list.  If you still don't find it, consider asking your instructor to put a copy of the textbook on reserve in the library for your class.

Beyond the Textbook: Other Assigned Reading

Other assigned reading beyond your textbook may also be available in the library.  Use Library Search to find book titles (both print and e-books), and use a library article database to find journal or magazine articles.

Woman holding textbooks
photo by CollegeDegrees360 - CC-BY-SA-2.0


Double Check: Search all Collections by Title

UC Library Search  

Check for Rental Options

Rentals can be much cheaper than buying the textbook. See if your textbook has a paper or online rental option.

  • Check the UCSC Bay Tree Bookstore for an online rental option. Click the "materials" link in the online Schedule of Classes view of your class then scroll down to see the rental options from Bay Tree.
  • Other Options:  Amazon rents both paper and online textbooks.  So does Chegg.  Do a Google search for more rental options.

EOP Textbook Lending Library

The Textbook Lending Library (TLL) program is designed to assist Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) students in obtaining required textbooks that they would not be able to purchase on their own. For more info and to apply for textbook assistance, use the link above.

Other Money Saving Tips

  • Shop around! Websites that search for lowest priced copies of new and used textbooks include, DealOz, and among others. 
  • Sell your books. At the beginning and end of each quarter you can sell your used, unwanted textbooks back to the Bay Tree Bookstore.
  • Don't buy the wrong books!  Click the "materials" link in the online Schedule of Classes  view of your class to find out before the quarter begins which textbooks are required for your classes. Check with your instructor, if possible, to confirm that the books are required.