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Textbooks: the decision to buy or borrow

Borrowing from the University Library:

You would normally purchase prescribed texts, as you will be referring to them often. If requested by course coordinators or tutors, a copy of books on your recommended reading list will be available from the University's Distance Library Services Collection. Subject to copyright requirements, a single chapter of available books could be scanned and emailed to you at no charge.

In addition, lecturers often request that required readings are available via the University Library's e-Reserve facility. Check with your course coordinator and/or contact:

Library Services for Distance Students

Buying textbooks:

Books prescribed for your course will usually be available from the University Book Shop (Otago) Ltd (UBS).

Important: Order early in case of delays. Please pay close attention to the availability and timing section below.

Tel +64 3 479 3967
Fax +64 3 477 6571
Post Textbook Department, University Book Shop, PO Box 6060, Dunedin 9059

Ordering textbooks from the University Bookshop

Ordering Instructions

Books may be purchased online, or by telephone, fax or email as well as over the counter (refer to instructions below). You can check textbook lists and prices online.

When ordering, be sure to provide the author and title of the book, your paper code and indicate how you wish to pay. Most textbooks are already specially priced to keep costs to students as low as possible. Your order will be sent to you by courier unless otherwise requested.

Availability and timing of your order

Important: The UBS will not necessarily have been asked by lecturers to stock their recommended reading. Subject to availability, any book can be ordered for you, but please be aware that procuring obscure titles may take some weeks.

Please allow 2-3 days for your order to be filled if we have stock, and another 2-3 working days for standard delivery to street addresses throughout New Zealand. Supply times may vary depending on the time of year, especially at the start of each Semester and Christmas/New Year. We will let you know if we cannot immediately supply items on your order and back order such items unless you request otherwise.

Books will be sent to you by courier unless otherwise requested.

Student discount

Textbooks are sold with a 10% discount to students. Note your student ID in the "Shipping Instructions" when ordering online, to ensure you obtain the discount.


Pre-payment is required on all orders, however please do not send payment before confirming book prices and freight costs with us. The UBS accepts MasterCard, VISA and American Express. Please clearly specify: cardholder name, card type, card number and the expiry date. If you are not paying by card, you will be pro-forma invoiced. (This means that the invoice must be paid before your order is sent to you.)

For WINZ Purchase Orders, please contact Annette Campbell ( at the UBS prior to advising WINZ of your costs.

Textbook Ordering Instructions

When ordering, be sure to provide the following:

  • Author and title of the book
  • Your paper code
  • How you wish to pay

Online ordering

If you don't know your assigned textbooks:

  • Click on the Textbook link in the menu at the top of our homepage
  • Select the Textbook Lists link and search by Department name, or Paper Number to retrieve a list of papers and their textbooks.
  • Identify the textbooks for your paper(s) and switch back to the UBS homepage. You may want to print out or save your search results before you do so.

To place your book order:

  • Enter the name of the textbook in the Search Box on the UBS homepage. TIP: Using “+” between words will narrow the search but you must enter the title exactly as it is recorded. If you include words out of sequence or skip a word, you will not get a match to what you are looking for. For example, if a complete book title is “Art Across Time 4E Volume II” on the textbook results search, you could search on our main homepage for “art+across+time+4E” and this would return only two results, including the one you want. If you typed “art+time” you'd still get two books coming up, but neither would be a match.
  • Select the appropriate title from the list of results.
  • Click on the “Add to Cart” button to add to cart.
  • Repeat this process until you have all your books in the cart and then proceed to “check out” to buy or “Get a Quote” in order to contact us about what discount (if any) and postage would apply to your order before committing to buy.
Note: There is an “Additional Comments” box available as part of the checkout process. Please use this to note the paper codes for which you are ordering books and that you are a student.

Ordering by Other Methods

By Telephone

Phone orders can be placed at any time. Simply phone +64 3 479 3967 and you will get straight through to the UBS Enquiries Desk.

By Fax

Simply fax your enquiry to +64 3 477 6571. Please neatly write out (or better yet, type) your fax. You can either provide Credit Card information by this method (which will speed up processing) or request that we send a Pro-Forma invoice detailing costs – this method works well for those wishing to pay by cheque.

By Post

This is essentially the same method as for fax. Letters should be sent to: University Book Shop, P.O. Box 6060, Dunedin, 9059, New Zealand.

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