School Text Books

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by proracer, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. proracer

    proracer Member

    School text books can be on the expensive side. I see that some members can find the books at a discount if purchased out of the country.

    A lot of money can be saved by using your local library.

    I have been able to find all of my text books through my local library.

    If the book is not on the shelf locally, it can be borrowed through the INTERLIBRARY LOAN PROGRAM. Some books come from out of state.

    The cost here is $2.00 per book and I get the book for four (4) weeks. If needed for a longer period, it can be extended.

    So far, I have rented 4 text books at a cost of $8.00.

    Order your book by the ISBN number and title.

  2. mattbrent

    mattbrent Active Member

    I live by I can always find cheap books there, and then I can sell them when I'm done if I no longer need them. There have been a few occassions where I've turned a profit this way.

    Another suggestion is If you get a border's rewards card they'll send you coupons. Sometimes when a course I'm taking requires a new edition, I'll use a coupon and get up to 30% off with free shipping from Borders. (And then of course you can sell it on

    I've been quite happy with this, although my book for my one class I'm taking now is still on back order. Bummer.

  3. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    If your class has a textbook, think about using an older edition. Changes from edition to edition are often mostly cosmetic. If you live in a large metropolitan area, you can sometimes find older editions of textbooks practically being given away at used book stores or in thrift stores. (They have little resale value.)

    When I took calculus, we used Swokowski, a classic text that many universities use. This thing costs an absolute fortune and seemingly goes through new editions almost every year. Professors sternly emphasize that you have to use the current edition, no exceptions. But really the only thing that changes from edition to edition are the problem sets at the end of the chapters. So I bought an older edition for a couple of bucks, borrowed a classmate's current edition and photocopied the problem sets. I wrapped a bookcover tightly around it like an Islamic hijab so that the professor wouldn't have a conniption fit upon seeing that the cover was the wrong color, and it worked great.

    You can try using a different textbook too. When I took introduction to geology for personal interest at City College of San Francisco, the textbook was awfully expensive. So I snapped up a used copy of a different geology text for $1 or something and read that. It was so cheap that I had no compunction about marking it up with my highlighter. Just look at the class syllabus and make sure that the text that you choose covers the same material. Worked great.

    Some classes want you to buy copies of standard literary, historical or philosophical works. There are usually all kinds of cheap soft-cover copies of these floating around the used bookstores in college-towns. You need to be aware of translations if it's a foreign-language work. If you want to use a different translation than the one assigned, ask your professor first. Professors are usually good about letting you substitute, unless he or she has something against the particular translation that you want to use. And some texts are abridgments, giving you some editor's selection of greatest hits (you rarely find all of Plato's dialogues or the complete works of Aristotle), so make sure that the book you are using has everything you need.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I am a cheap bastard, I check online to see if I can obtain a free copy of ebook. Then I'll make the decission to purchase on or
  5. pugbelly

    pugbelly New Member

    ebooks have the added advantage of being searchable by key words.

  6. BBGunn

    BBGunn New Member

    I also use to rent books. You just send it back after the course is finished. The charge is based on the term length you choose.
  7. Griffin

    Griffin Crazy About Psychology

    Lots of great ideas! :)

    I will add that sometimes the college library has a copy of the most common textbooks for library use only. Not that useful on it's own, but if you have an older addition at home you can copy the new questions. :D Also helpful if you lose your textbook right before an assignment is due (not that I've done that twice).

    I also like eBooks. Not so great for printing, but can be very easy on the pocketbook.
  8. nonio

    nonio New Member

    Ebook Free Download

    Does anybody have a good place ...where textbooks can be downloaded...p ebook. for MBA?
  9. Andy Borchers

    Andy Borchers New Member

    Matt - another site that I find helpful is
    They don't sell books but rather they list all the sites that do and what their prices are.

    R Andy

  10. WOW- I've never heard of the interlibrary loan program. I'm definitely checking that out (no pun intended)!

    I use to search the major book stores, however, I have come accross other sites that specialize in college textbooks that are even better. I found a couple used books for as little as $2 plus shipping, where my school book store was selling them for $130 or more new :eek:.

    Also, sometimes you can find another version of the same exact book. For example, I found an "international" version of my US text book that word-for-word was the same information but cost about 1/3 as much. Also, it seems that going 1 edition older will help you get many books for less than $3. The slight differences in updated information will not have a noticable impact on your studies.

    One more note- for the World Population ECE, Excelsior tries to sell you several world population bulletins for $5-10 each. A simple net search revealed that the organization that prints them also allows anyone to download them for FREE in .pdf form on their website :\... that was an easy $30-40 saved.

    Finally- remember that under new tax code provisions, your books can be put towards the HOPE tax credit no matter where you buy them from. Which means, for people who are under the benefit limit (like me :D) essentially get their books for free... even if you turn around and sell them back later :D:D:D.

  11. dark_dan

    dark_dan New Member

    Buy used on Amazon, sell used on Amazon.

    Usually sell for the same price you bought it for, cost $0.

    Doesn't work all the time. The books for my research methods class cost $280 after shipping and of course have a 13 month student version of SPSS you can't get it used or you run the risk of the software expiring before the class is over.
  12. major56

    major56 Active Member

    I’ve used
    I have also saved additional expense purchasing international version textbooks – they are considerably cheaper and have so far contained the identical text content as the U.S. versions.
  13. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    One site I discovered recently that offers free worldwide shipping (which is great for all of us who don't live in the 'states) is Book Depository:

    They have pretty good prices on many books, similar to Amazon, sometimes worse, sometimes better ... the main draw is the free shipping internationally :)
  14. major56

    major56 Active Member

    In that I wasn't aware of this vendor, I just compared Book Depository’s price regarding a text I ordered from today:

    Book Depository price delivered (New): $82.99
    Abe Books price (international version - New) delivered: $30.68

    • Don’t discount the savings utilizing international version textbooks.:D
  15. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    Yes, I do agree, buying used and/or from Abebooks/Alibris sources is often cheaper ... just giving people another option :)

    (Just for interest, how much would that same book from the Abebooks source cost including delivery to Canada? Sometimes the shipping costs are outrageous, but there can still be good deals even for people outside the USA.)
  16. major56

    major56 Active Member

    Standard shipping to Canada (21-36 business days): $6.00
    Expedited Shipping to Canada (5-10 business days): $7.00

    Book Price: $23.18 (U.S. $)

    Vendor #2

    Canadian shipping rate:
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2010
  17. proracer

    proracer Member

    Has anyone ever used ?

    This looks like a web site that will allow you to down load a complete book for very little money?

    Please let me know if any one has any experience with this site.....

    Thanks, Jim
  18. ProfTim

    ProfTim Member

    "So I bought an older edition for a couple of bucks, borrowed a classmate's current edition and photocopied the problem sets. I wrapped a bookcover tightly around it like an Islamic hijab so that the professor wouldn't have a conniption fit upon seeing that the cover was the wrong color, and it worked great. "

    Just beware that making photocopies of copyrighted material can get you into trouble at some institutions.

    I recommend talking to your professor. At my college, students buy a textbook that is used for three courses. Some of the students took the first class and there was a lapse in their schedules before they took the second class. The edition changed during that time. Since I had several students who had the older edition, I didn't have the heart to ask them to buy another $300 book so I created my own problem sets rather than using the ones in the book.
  19. Griffin

    Griffin Crazy About Psychology

    I check because they check LOTS of different sellers for best price and shipping.
  20. PhD2B

    PhD2B Dazed and Confused

    I'm with Griffin. I use as well. They don't sell books, but they do an extensive comparison of various sites that do sell books. One thing to be careful of is that they will sometimes list book rental sites as the cheapest option; however, it's not hard to tell which books are for purchase and which books are for rent. Also, I am big fan of the much cheaper international editions.

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