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Book Store 101 for First Year Students

We admit it. First year can be an overwhelming experience for our students. New friends to make, new classes to find – and yes, new books to buy. That’s why we do our absolute best to help you navigate this period successfully.

Find tools, links and answers to some commonly asked Book Store questions here. Anything else you would like to know? Just ask. Our friendly staff is ready to assist you.

Why should I choose the uWaterloo Book Store to buy my books from?

Here are our top five reasons:

  1. You can create a customized book list for the courses you are registered in by logging into BookLook with your Quest User ID and password.
  2. Most of our textbook packages are cheaper than purchasing each item separately - textbook, solution manual, study guide or access codes.
  3. If your textbook is out-of-stock, ask at the Information Desk for a textbook notification – no deposit is required and we will contact you as soon as the book arrives at the Book Store.
  4. We will provide a full refund on textbook purchases (including Distance Education titles) as outlined in our Refund Policy.
  5. Our shelf tags will tell you if the textbook is required or optional. A required textbook means the professor has indicated that you need this book. An optional textbook means you do not have to purchase the book and the professor is only recommending this book as reference material or extra reading.

Rather than physically walking into the Book Store, is there another way to find the books I need?

Yes! BookLook is our online search tool. Use it to search our entire inventory including course material and general books.

You can also create a customized book list by searching for all of your books by term. Simply log in with your Quest User ID and password to see the course material required for the courses you are currently registered in. You can print this list off to bring with you in store or purchase the books online.

What can I expect to pay for course materials?

Course Material prices including textbooks, courseware and access code keys can range in price anywhere between $5 and $200 per course depending on your faculty, department and program stream. Please check BookLook to find out more information on the costs associated with specific courses. This information is updated regularly beginning in June as course material requirements are submitted by faculty.

How do I know if I’ve got the right book in the BookStore?

We place colour-coded tags with our books. All of the important information about the course, section and book is present on these tags. Look for the following on the shelves. As always, if you have any questions please do ask.

Distance Ed Tags Are Yellow, On-Campus Tags are Blue