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Book Ordering: FAQ

Estimated Price Lists

See also our Estimated Price List for Books, Course Readers, and Software

Purchasing Books

All required books are purchased online AFTER you have registered.

All course readers must be purchased through Cognella.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I need a course reader or textbook?
What is a course reader?
How do I order required textbooks?
How do I order required course readers?
Why are there two different websites for ordering?
How do I return an item or request a refund?
Can I have my book delivered to Otis?
Can I sell my book once the semester is over?
Why don’t we have a campus bookstore?
I need more help...


How do I know if I need a course reader or textbook?
All of your required books and readers are listed in the Estimated Price List. You can also look at Cognella to find out if your class requires a course reader.

The Estimated Price List is organized by Studio department. Your core courses such as English, Art History and Math are listed under Liberal Arts and Sciences.

What is a course reader?
Course readers (course packs) are custom-published packs compiled by your professor with materials that are relevant to the course. Course readers allow professors to include up-to-date articles and readings and are customized for each class. Usually, an instructor will choose to use a course reader when there are multiple readings they wish to use for class, and it becomes too costly to have students purchase all the books. Course readers must be purchased through Cognella and cannot be purchased through other vendors.

How do I order required books?

  1. You can purchase your required books from any bookseller, in-store or online. Some examples would be Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and More can be found online to choose from. Also, many have rental and digital options at a cheaper rate.
  2. You will need the Student Schedule printout (sample below) provided by the Registrar.
  3. Using the information found in the Estimated Price List (ISBN, Title, Author, Publisher) and your Student Schedule, you can search for your books online.

Sample Student Schedule Printout

30396 FND 110 A G Form and Space I 2.0
30425 FNDT 180 A G Life Drawing I 3.0
30090 AHCS 120 C G Visual Culture 3.0

CRN – a number you use to register online
SUBJ – stands for subject
CRSE – stands for course
SEC – stands for section
CMP – stands for campus (G is the Goldsmith Campus on Lincoln)
TITLE – course title
CREDITS – number of credits or units course if worth

How do I order required course readers?
To purchase a reader, please follow these instructions:

  • Step 1: Log on to Cognella.
  • Step 2: Choose the correct course reader (course pack), select a format, and proceed with the checkout process.
  • Step 3: After purchasing, you can access a digital copy of the first few chapters (if you selected a print format) or all chapters (if you selected a digital format*) by logging into your account and clicking ‘My Digital Materials’ to get started on your reading right away.

Print orders are typically processed within 24 hours; the shipping time and price will depend on the selected shipping method and day it is shipped (orders are not shipped on Sundays or holidays).

*Digital access: To access your course reader (course pack), you will need an Adobe ID and the free Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) software installed on your computer. Visit Cognella Adobe ID for easy instructions. Once you download the digital course reader (course pack) you can access it online or offline at any time on your computer, tablet, or smart phone. You can also annotate, highlight, and search the content. Please note that the digital course reader (course pack) expires after six months.

If you experience any difficulties, please email or call 800-200-3908 ext. 503.

Why are there different websites for ordering?
Students can find textbooks at several different online or in-store retailers. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and are just a few to find the best price available.

Cognella offers low pricing and quick turn-around time for students ordering course readers.

How do I return an item or request a refund?
Textbooks: Certain conditions apply to return your materials for a full refund. BEFORE you open or write in anything, please check the Returns FAQ of the site or store where materials were purchased for refund policies and restrictions.

Course Readers: Please see the Student Help FAQ section on the Cognella website.

Can I have my books and readers delivered to Otis College?
If you will be in transit when your course materials are going to be delivered, have not established a residence, or if you are in the Otis College Housing program, you may qualify to have your orders shipped to the College. To see if you qualify and find out how to arrange this, contact the Office of Student Affairs at (310) 665-6960 or check with the Student Affairs Office on the 2nd floor of Ahmanson.

Can I sell my book once the semester is over?
To sell your course reader or text book, contact the department representative for the course to see if those materials will be used again next term.

Why doesn’t the college have a campus bookstore?
Although we would love to have a campus bookstore, present space constrictions prohibit it.

I need more help...

Course Readers: Check the Help & FAQs on Cognella website.

Textbooks: Contact the store you ordered books from regarding materials ordered.

If you have questions about the courses or required course materials, contact the department where the course is being offered. For non-studio courses, please use the Liberal Arts and Sciences Contact Form or call (310) 665-6920.