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Old 01-20-2010, 03:36 PM   #31
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DS uses half.com, ebay and Amazon - I have not heard of Chegg.com but I will forward to him.

His Univ. has a habit of bundling books so that researching the ISBN numbers is tricky if not impossible since the bundle is custom with its own number.

DS pays for all his own books, we found that really motivated him to go on the hunt for a good deal. Starving students are remarkable at borrowing books, finding cheap books and getting good deals when it is coming out of their wallets

Textbooks were a racket 25 years ago when I was in college, I don't think all that much has changed.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:50 PM   #32
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Textbooks were/are a total racket!

Back when I was in college, the professors wrote most of the textbooks we were required to buy for each class. Each year, they'd change the edition.

You'd think you could get away with buying the used older edition, but then THREE of my professors went around the room checking each book. If you had edition 21 and they were on 22, you'd be asked to either drop the class or you had to buy the new one. The reason was that, ahem, he didn't want any of us to get lost by using the wrong book.

There were SLIGHT differences to the book, but not enough to make a difference. English and History isn't like writing code for computers. Not that much happens to something that is 300 years old, you know what I mean?
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:52 PM   #33
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my mom doesn't buy my text books. but i just spent 100.00 on a book that we're only going to cover three chapters of.

and my university likes to get university specific books. this means NO used versions, NO sellbacks, and i can't get it anywhere but my book store.
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:04 PM   #34
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I'm an academic librarian. Today was our usual first day of the semester, with hundreds of students coming to the library to see if we had their textbooks. As a rule, we don't buy textbooks, period. If you are a student, you can ask your faculty member if they can put a copy on reserve if they have an extra.

We will not get textbooks through Interlibrary Loan for students. It's just too big of a dissatisfier. In most case, you can't find the textbook at another library, and if they do have it, it gets recalled immediately and your student has to send it back just when they need it. ILL loan periods tend to only be a couple of weeks, and it can be difficult to get the books back to the loaning institution if students won't return them.

We tell students their best bet is to rent, shop around or share with a friend. Our university didn't used to publish the book list, but after a lawsuit, we do now.

The whole thing is just an incredible racket.
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:12 PM   #35
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Ugh, yeah textbooks are psychotically expensive. I can't even sell back my books, I'll need them for reference material when I go to write my master's thesis, and I'll need to look back at certain things once I'm established in my career. It's nuts, and I hate having to pay so much
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:35 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by jme829 View Post
DD16 just got accepted to the youth options program here where she takes a college course for dual credit. She went yesterday for orientation and I was dreading the book fee (wasn't sure how it worked, since the high school pays for the college course)..

Was HAPPILY surprised to see that her college of choice (Univ. Wisconsin/River Falls) does NOT charge for textbooks!!!! You check them out of the textbook room, and return them at the end of the semester (like a library book!)...the fees are included in tuition (which is pretty low anyways!) once she starts as an actual degree seeking student..

So when she starts as an actual college freshman in sept/2011 that is one less thing we have to worry about!
I wish ours would have done it this way. DD16 just started her dual credit course today. I got the paperwork from the school counselor (she was in charge of assigning all the students to the courses and took care of registration). We thought we got lucky because we found a copy of the $120 textbook that we needed for $40 on Craigslist from a local student who took the course.

So, DD texts me from class about an hour ago to tell me that the counselor wrote down the wrong course number on our registration paper and we bought the wrong book.

I pulled out the paper just to double check ~ yep, sure enough, the paper says History 250 and it's actually something like History 152. I am fuming right now.

Luckily, I bought the other one used and deeply discounted but what a hassle. DD hates being unprepared for anything in school and I could tell she was really stressing over it.
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Old 01-20-2010, 04:41 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by torinsmom View Post
Be sure to email professors and ask if you can use a previous edition. I have done that before. The chapters may be in a different order, but it is usually the same information and the price is a lot cheaper.

I have also been one who copied a whole textbook. Seems extreme, but it saved me $100 that semester. I have also shared a book with a friend and we took turns using it.

I have done both of these. More often, I will order a previous edition at a fraction of the cost. This semester, I ordered the previous edition of my BioOrganic book for $12 on Amazon; the current edition costs $170 in the bookstore. I've compared the two books. Honestly, there is no negligible difference.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:24 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by locolala View Post
Ugh, yeah textbooks are psychotically expensive. I can't even sell back my books, I'll need them for reference material when I go to write my master's thesis, and I'll need to look back at certain things once I'm established in my career. It's nuts, and I hate having to pay so much
The books I saved from college helped immensely when I went for my Masters and now I am getting my Ph.D. Having your own library made up of your college books is incredibly helpful.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:29 PM   #39
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I feel your pain, we just paid $900 for books for my DH as he is attending a community college. I about cried. Luckily his Chemistry teacher told the class the books are so expensive to return them and go get the used older edition so that saved us $150, other wise it would have been over $1000 dollars for books.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:32 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by NMAmy View Post
The worst part for me is that I work at a college and order textbooks so it's not like I'm a stranger to any of this. DD goes to a college that has their own bookstore so they give the absolute minimum info on textbooks--no isbn, no edition, no year. Since dd was home for semester break (2000 miles away from school), I couldn't even send her over to the store to check for the ISBN's.
I believe there's some new federal textbook law coming soon that says universities have to provide this information to students. Also, try having your dd email her profs. ahead of time....my dd's college bookstore doesn't let anyone into the stacks until the day before classes start, but the profs. are more than willing to email her the info ahead of time.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:33 PM   #41
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July 1st, 2010 is the date that schools have to comply with the new law. Yay!
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:50 PM   #42
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Yes, textbooks are such a racket!! When I was in college, I used to get together with classmates and we would buy 1 book- we'd split the cost between all of us, and then make bound copies for everyone. It wound up costing us far less than if we each bought our own copy.

I like the idea of renting texts, especially for electives and freshman level courses (it is nice to be able to keep texts pertaining to your major).
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:06 PM   #43
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I just graduated with my MBA: I bought International Versions of textbooks. They are usually softcover and use a cheaper paper, but ... the content is identical. I saved a fortune.
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:09 PM   #44
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1 word....EBAY. I pay an averge of 35$ for books that cost over $200 through book store.
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:21 PM   #45
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Thanks for the chegg.com website. I was really dreading buying books this semster as the total would be over $500. I am going to rent them for less than $200. It does not bother me that I can not highlight or write in them as I usually don't anyways.
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