Knowing when and how to purchase books can be challenging, especially in the first couple of weeks when you may be adjusting your course schedule, be on a course waiting list, or focused on getting to campus! One suggestion is that you research the books you need and where to buy them before arriving on campus but wait to purchase them until you attend a few classes. Below is a list of Textbook and Academic Reading Resources to start. Materials for several courses are also available on reserve at the Library, and materials may also be posted in Moodle.
The book list for each MHC course should be listed below the course description in the Search for Classes function in my.mtholyoke (press the days/times link to see the full course details). The book list will specify the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) identifying the exact book, whether it is required or optional, and any additional notes about the course books from the professor. Course syllabi (often available through the course's Moodle site but may be provided another way by the course instructor) also list textbook requirements.
Please note that there is no local textbook vendor at Mount Holyoke, as the Odyssey bookstore no longer stocks required textbooks for all classes. Students typically buy or rent textbooks online. Online purchases require either a credit card or debit card tied to a U.S. bank. If you are unable to purchase books with a credit card and will not have access to funds in a U.S. bank by the end of the first week of classes, please review and submit the Request for Book Loan Advance form.
If you have additional questions about the process and resources provided you may contact the following offices:
- For bank deposit questions, email Accounts Payable.
- For questions about the Book Loan Advance and the student account, email Student Financial Services.
- If you will not have access to a U.S. bank credit card or debit card by September 3, and have questions about the process, email the Office of Community and Belonging or call 413-538-2550.
- For questions about library materials, ISBN numbers, etc., contact the LITS Circulation Desk or call 413-538-2622.
Textbooks and Academic Reading Resources
Sources to Buy or Rent Textbooks
- Barnes and Noble
- Better World Books
- Abe Books
- Campus Books
- Books Run
Sites that compare prices from multiple sellers
Articles about buying textbooks
- The Best Places To Buy College Textbooks Online by the College Investor
- 10 Places to Buy Used Textbooks by College Life Today
Places to borrow free ebooks
Boston Public Library eCard
All Mount Holyoke College students are eligible for a Boston Public Library eCard, no matter where they reside, as long as they use their Mount Holyoke College email address to register. More information about Boston Public Library eCards, including a link to register, can be found on its website. A Boston Public Library eCard gives you access to Hoopla, a digital media service platform which includes on-demand ebooks with no waitlists. This platform offers Mount Holyoke students access to many titles that the Mount Holyoke College Library is not able to license. Once a student has registered for a Boston Public Library eCard and received their library card number and PIN, they can register for a Hoopla account at its website or through the Hoopla mobile app.
Upon sign-up, users will first be asked to provide their email address and create a password, and then they will be asked to choose their library (Boston Public Library) and provide their eCard number and PIN. Note: Students may only borrow up to 10 items per calendar month through Hoopla. (A Boston Public Library eCard also gives students access to BPL Overdrive ebooks, but note that these are always subject to waitlists.)
Internet Archive is a digital library that provides free public access to digitized materials, including millions of books. The website recently revised their loan durations, stating: "Patrons now have a choice in selecting the loan period when they borrow a book. Patrons can choose a short-term access for 1 hour, or a longer 14-day loan. If we only have 1 copy of a book, it is only available for 1 hour loan. If we have more than one copy of a book, it can be checked out for either 1 hour or 14 days, depending on availability. If there are no copies available for 14-day loans, users can join a waitlist." Please note that each student must create an account with the Internet Archive to borrow the ebook.