I think pretty much any university course will require you to use books, but this is especially true for English Literature. We are required to use not only textbooks, but also anthologies, novels and scripts. The book shop on campus, Blackwell’s, sells all of the books you will need, but buying everything brand new can be ridiculously expensive. Luckily, there are a few other options.
If you want to have your own copies of the texts then second hand books are normally a lot cheaper than buying books new, but I often find that I am required to buy certain editions, which makes buying from charity shops really difficult. Instead, I’ve found sites like Amazon that sell books second hand to be perfect (as long as you don’t mind occasionally stumbling across other people’s highlighting and notes).
The university library is also really handy to use. They stock all of the books on the reading list, the only problem is that even with numerous copies available, I’ve found it can be difficult to get my hands on a text because everyone else has the same idea!
Those of you who have a Kindle probably already know that you can download a lot of books for free. In English Literature we study a lot of classics, and these are the books that are normally available for free, which is great if you already have a Kindle and you’re looking for a way to save money. These older texts are free because they are out of copyright, so even if you don’t have an e-reader you might be able to find them online.
If, for whatever reason, you’re struggling to get hold of a book (for example if you’ve ordered a copy but it hasn’t arrived in time, or you can’t find the right edition) it’s always best to talk to your tutor and let them know. That way they can give you advice on getting hold of the text, or if you’re really lucky some tutors might lend you a copy if they have any spare.