Lecturers will recommend books at the start of their lecture and will often highlight one or two as the most relevant. These then become the most popular so while John’s has a good library these books will always be in high demand, so you may want to buy copies of one or two key books. We’ve also mentioned a few of the ones that are generally recommended in the web page for each course. John’s gives a book grant to all students for up to half the cost of all academic books – the total amount available varies year-to-year, check out the ‘Grants, Awards and Prizes’ page in the Tutorial Seciton of St John’s College on Camtools. The Larmor Society holds a second-hand book-sale, generally in the second weekend of the first term; multiple copies of most of the IA core texts will be available from the older years.
In Part IB and Part II you tend to find that more and more of the books you need are located in your department library. The catalogues for college, departmental and university libraries can be found online at http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/newton/