You must have at least heard of it by now. It’s white, has your name on it and is probably already forgotten in last night’s jeans and here is your clue. It definitely isn’t last night’s kebab receipt; it’s your UNIVERSITY READING LIST!

Whether it’s a bit of Orwell that takes your fancy, the political works of Maggie T or any other authors specific to your subject matter, you are all bound to get one. But for many of you, like myself, who have already received a 10 page list of “some suggested books for reading” (aka read all the books on the list and have less than 3 weeks to do so); our reading fun has only just begun! “YAY!” (Yes – the sarcasm is intentional).

Ok, so maybe it isn’t all doom and gloom. It may seem like your reading list is a ‘dreadful’, ‘long’ and ‘boring’ piece of paper (which it sort of is) but, look at the positives. Why not understand what your lecturers mean when they tell you to ‘refer back to Book 8, page 954, second paragraph, third line, ninth word?’ Ok, fine. I’m exaggerating, but why not? The point of your uni reading list is to appreciate and understand what it is you will be learning. In other words, what exactly it is you’re letting yourselves in for.

So, now we have established the meaning of your reading list, finding the right books are another thing to sort out. A once painful experience, known to some as ‘the book search’, should no longer leave you in a cold sweat. With faster internet connections (thank you BT-HomeHub5) and access to the World Wide Web, the overused “books are too expensive” and “I couldn’t find them” phrases are instantly outdated. Research, research, research! That is your new moto as a uni student. Research the books you need, it’s simple, easy and buying them need not be a problem.

If buying your books ‘are’ a problem, you need not fear as you have options.

You could choose to buy new books, I get it. Fresh out the packet, untouched, crisp edges but, all at the expense of £39.50 (excluding P&P!), I think not. The same book (dependent on date published), ‘second hand – fresh out the packet’, touched several times, curled edges but ‘very good condition’, all for £4.00 (did I mention, including P&P?). I know which one I’m buying! Used/second hand books are the way forwards my friends! They may not smell the best and come with those added coffee stains you didn’t order but, they are still great and will save you bundles of money too!

Therefore appreciate, respect, reflect and read the books on your reading list. Not only can you save money while reading but, just think, you will actually be making your life at university a whole lot easier.