There are a number of options for acquiring textbooks--through the UW Libraries, through the UW Bookstore or other retailer, or through a fellow ISS student!

UW Libraries

Before purchasing your textbooks, check to see if the library provides electronic access to it. To do this, search for the title of the material in the UW Libraries search tool. In this example, we’re searching for Introducing Globalization, a required text for GEOG 323 Globalization and You.


Available materials will be marked with a green checkmark, while unavailable items will show a red or grey icon.



You can filter for only ebooks on the lefthand side under “Resource Type.” To access the material, click the purple “Online Access” button and you will prompted to login with your UW NetID. You can have print materials sent to any campus library for free, just use the “Availability and Request Options” button. For a fee, you can request a book from the library be delivered to your home via 1-2-day shipping. To do this, fill out the Interlibrary Loan form.

*It’s important to note that some ebooks only provide access to one user at a time. If you find your textbook but aren’t able to get immediate access to it, use the AskUs service to check the licensing on it.

Other services you may not know about:

  • The UW Libraries can scan and email you individual articles for free. Learn how!
  • You have borrowing privileges at any Orbis Cascade Institution. That means if you live near one of these libraries, you can borrow materials there for for free!

For more information on accessing library material, see the FAQ tutorials.

Have more questions? Use the Ask Us service to instantly chat with a librarian 24-7.


UW Bookstore and Other Online Retailers

If your instructor requested texts from MyUW, you can purchase your textbooks online through the UW Bookstore and have them delivered. It’s also possible to compare the textbooks online through the Online Price Comparison tool.  

You can also use any of the many other online retailers to purchase your books. You can get links and comparisons by doing a Google search for “online textbooks.” Many retailers have a textbook rental option, which may be cheaper than purchasing textbooks outright. Please make note of delivery times for your books to ensure you have them in time for your classes.


Fellow ISSers!

Some ISS students have taken to posting requests to sell or buy textbooks within our ISS Facebook Community Page. Go to our community page to request membership!