Studying law means lots of reading and a large proportion of that reading will come from the textbooks that are recommended by the tutors for each module. Your recommended reading for tutorials will usually consist of pages selected from these textbooks and so they are a must have. The question is should you buy the textbooks brand new, second hand or rely on the stock kept by the University library.
Buying brand new textbooks
- Guaranteed not to contain notes & highlighting from the previous owner
- The University Library Bookshop sells all of the recommended textbooks
- That new book smell 😉
- More expensive to buy the books brand new than it is to get hold of them second hand.
Buying second hand textbooks
- Cheaper than buying new textbooks: sometimes considerably so.
- Markings, highlighting and notes made by the previous owner – it is possible to find second hand books without any markings but it does seem to be rare.
- It is possible that you won’t be able to get hold of the recommended edition of the textbook second hand if it was only published in the not too distant past – in this situation some students choose to purchase the edition which came before the recommended one second hand. I personally wouldn’t advise doing this because you could be missing vital information, reforms and revisions which can only be found in the latest edition.
Borrowing the textbooks from the Library
- You don’t have to part with any cash
- You risk the possibility that all of the textbooks for a particular module kept by the library will be out on loan at the time that you need them.
In my case I have always bought all of my textbooks brand new. It is a hefty expense but I make extensive use of them throughout the year and I like to be able to access them whenever I need them and not have to rely on the library’s stock. I have occasionally had to buy the textbook new because I have needed the latest edition and I’m one of those people who finds the notes and highlighting of other readers distracting.
Something to bear in mind with respect to Statutory Materials is that you are only permitted to take a clean and unmarked copy into the examination with you and so any preowned copy containing highlighting or markings of any kind won’t be of any use to you for the exam.
If you find that you don’t like a particular textbook for whatever reason, you can always ask your tutorial leader, the module convenor or the lecturer for that particular topic to suggest some alternative reading.
Good news first years! The University Bookshop located on the ground floor of the David Wilson Library on campus, is offering 15% off all of the core textbooks for your first year modules.
A few useful links:
University of Leicester Bookshop website.
Here’s the link to the Facebook page on which Leicester Law students advertise the textbooks they would like to sell. On this page you will find core and option module textbooks as well as revision guides.
I also hear on the grapevine that the Student Law Society is planning to hold a book sale event on campus at some point during the new term. You can keep up to date with this event and others through the University of Leicester Law Society Facebook page.