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Old 01-24-08, 10:58 AM   #26
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It's to supplement the author's (often the professor) income.
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Old 01-24-08, 10:58 AM   #27
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Hmm let's see

$130 purchase

turn in value $45


Resell as used book $90



see something wrong here? I hear this every semester (and goodness knows I've experienced that myself! - what I liked was the fact that for a few years - I ran into the fact that the book had a "new" edition that came out - thereby rendering my slightly used book - useless
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Old 01-24-08, 10:59 AM   #28
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Economy of scale may enter into play here. If the book is constantly under revision, or is being run in small quantities of a certain edition for each university, then price will be inherently high. Not working in that industry I have not idea how standardized a text is from school to school, etc. I may be way off base here. I usu sally am.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 01-24-08, 10:59 AM   #29
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Does anyone else find humor in the fact that the book is an economics book? Lesson #1: Demand. Create continued demand by holding college students hostage through the release of new editions with insignificant changes.
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Old 01-24-08, 11:00 AM   #30
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Economy of scale may enter into play here. If the book is constantly under revision, or is being run in small quantities of a certain edition for each university, then price will be inherently high. Not working in that industry I have not idea how standardized a text is from school to school, etc. I may be way off base here. I usu sally am.
I had a class in Fluid Mechanics that changed editions every 2 years. Fluid mechanichs have not changed in a millenia
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Old 01-24-08, 11:01 AM   #31
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spellling, however, changes over time
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Old 01-24-08, 11:04 AM   #32
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I keep my textbooks anyway from classes and not bother selling them, just for reference later on.
I did the same for topics I thought might be useful later on, either in education or career. While working for my MBA, a few of us would just trade books. If I'd taken the course last semester, I'd give that book to a buddy who was taking it this semester. More often than not, he had a book from a class last semester that I would need this semester. It worked out on more than a few occasions. Sometimes it was the previous edition. Sometimes it was an overseas edition. But, it always got me through.
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Old 01-24-08, 11:04 AM   #33
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my ability to spell correctly, or incorrectly as the case may be, will remain unchanged for millenia as well.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 01-24-08, 11:10 AM   #34
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This thread actually reminds me of one of my MBA classes. A friend of mine located a few copies of the book (correct edition and all) selling for $6 on Amazon as compared to $120+ (used) in the bookstore. I ordered it, got it just before the class began in the summer of 2006. The class was titled "Global Capital Markets". I quickly realized why the book was so cheap. It was from 1996... 10 years old! It was the correct book, however. Even though there were newer books on the market, the professor chose to go with this one (probably so he wouldn't have to revise his presentations). Funny part is it talked about how one day soon, Europe would utilize a common currency to be called "the euro" and automatic teller machines (ATMs) would also become more widely used. I am comfortable in saying that I got very little out of that class.
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Old 01-24-08, 11:14 AM   #35
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The rate of inflation for textbooks is about four times normal inflation. I generally keep mine, or just borrow the book from a friend.
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Old 01-24-08, 06:27 PM   #36
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Well tomorrow I will return these books. I had to bring the economics book to class, so I kept it in the original plastic bag. It looks brand new (it is brand new). If I am told that they wont take it back....and I've already purchased a cheaper copy....I will be pretty pissed. By the way, macroeconomics 401 seems like it's going to be a pretty easy class -- easy A. That's okay, that means maybe next year I'll be more eligible for a scholarship, so text book costs wont be so detrimental to my financial well being.

My economics professor is a Turkish immigrant with a heavy accent. I have no problem understanding his words, but I'm not sure if I interpreted him correctly here. He says that when governments establish price floors or ceilings on anything, that it actually makes the problem worse due to an economic law which I forgot the name of. I've never taken economics, so obviously my academic knowledge of the subject is minimal, but this seems like an arguable statement. I'm not sure if he is trying to make some point, or trying to teach his belief has fact.
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Old 01-24-08, 06:37 PM   #37
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It's to supplement the author's (often the professor) income.
I also heard that professors will assign textbooks written by their friends. I found this to be the case in my political science class after just a small amount of digging.
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Old 01-24-08, 06:48 PM   #38
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Oh man you got it coming. Wait for these things to happen

- You professor requires you to get a book. If you dont have it you get penalized. Coincidentally the author has the same last name as your teacher.

- You buy a book off online and for some god awful reason it takes forever for you to get. You can fall behind a little and suck it up, or in certain extreme situations purchase another book only to have the one you ordered come within the next 24 hours.

- Buy a book. Go to sell it back at the bookstore and they wont take it because there is a new edition out after one semester!

- The bookstore has used books that sell for like $10 less then new but are so beat up that if you go to sell them back they say there not in good enough condition. WTF you sold it to me!

- Order a book online only to have some completely random book show up you never ordered.

- Teachers accidentally giving you the wrong ISBN number and you dont find out untill half the class ordered it.

As far as the new editions I hear it in all my classes. I am in college for engineering. The number of engineers in the country is at a pretty low level compared to years ago so the companies need to produce money. So they make a new edition every year. Maybe 20-30 years ago there was always 1 or 2 books used across the whole country and it stayed that way.

With the new editions here is what they change. You get a cool new cover! Maybe some different illustrations. The problems in the back are the same just in a different order. Sometimes all they do is change all the numbers by 4. So problem 20 in 3rd edition is problem 24 in 4th edition and so on.

It really is a big scam. So you have to scam them back.

Buy books for cheap off of ebay, half, amazon, ect... and then sell them back to the school for a profit. I have done it many times.

Also your books will just get more and more expensive. My engineering books are out of control. Sometimes Ill look at the book and be like "good this things gotta be cheap its so small". Turns out to be $180. This semester some of the books look like the school made them themselves and bound them and sell them lol.

If you want to save big money buy the international editions. They are softcover, on really crappy paper. They are exactly the same but have different covers. A $160 book can be had for like $20 shipped.
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Old 01-24-08, 06:52 PM   #39
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Hmm let's see

$130 purchase

turn in value $45


Resell as used book $90



see something wrong here?
yep!! Dont sell it back to the bookstore!!

There are tons of places on campus to post free classifieds. If i ever had to, I always posted my books for $10-15 cheaper than the used book price, which was usually 40-50 more than what i wouldve got if i sold it back to the bookstore.

I was lucky that i knew quite a few people in the year below me, so i never had a problem selling books.
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Old 01-24-08, 07:06 PM   #40
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Be glad you aren't in architecture.

MSU Standards:

Books: +/- $400/semester
Required computer: +/- $3000 (needed to run Autocad and Rhino)
Software: $1100
Supplies: +/- $300/semester
Studio fees: $500/semester

On top of all of that, you have ABSOLUTELY ZERO free time for a part time job that might ease the financial pain. You complain about textbooks?
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Old 01-24-08, 08:52 PM   #41
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Well tomorrow I will return these books. I had to bring the economics book to class, so I kept it in the original plastic bag. It looks brand new (it is brand new). If I am told that they wont take it back....and I've already purchased a cheaper copy....I will be pretty pissed. By the way, macroeconomics 401 seems like it's going to be a pretty easy class -- easy A. That's okay, that means maybe next year I'll be more eligible for a scholarship, so text book costs wont be so detrimental to my financial well being.

My economics professor is a Turkish immigrant with a heavy accent. I have no problem understanding his words, but I'm not sure if I interpreted him correctly here. He says that when governments establish price floors or ceilings on anything, that it actually makes the problem worse due to an economic law which I forgot the name of. I've never taken economics, so obviously my academic knowledge of the subject is minimal, but this seems like an arguable statement. I'm not sure if he is trying to make some point, or trying to teach his belief has fact.
That is correct, price floors and price ceilings interfere with the market's mechanism of supply and demand, which distorts them both, thus leading to more problems than it is suppose to fix.

Prime examples you will come across regarding this topic is price ceiling on rental rates on houses and price floors on minimum wage.

Simply put:
Price ceilings on rent (an idea meant to make housing affordable for everyone)---> housing shortage, increased crime rates, slums, poor neighborhood, inequality in property value where the rich pays the same as the poor.
Historic references include Detroit, and New York City.

This belief is fact, it has been proven consistently. Economic research is intriguing.

One research I came across was the effect of extending sentencing times for gang leaders specializing in drug trade actually increases the amount of drugs available on the market.

Gang leader in jail for 10+ years --> conflict issues with leadership within gangs lead to split and the control of drug trade ---> competition between increased numbers of drug producers thus increased the supply of drugs (Cocaine for example) ---> when supply increases while demand stays constant, drug prices are cheaper, thus more widely available.
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Old 01-24-08, 09:49 PM   #42
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Be glad you aren't in architecture.

MSU Standards:

Books: +/- $400/semester
Required computer: +/- $3000 (needed to run Autocad and Rhino)
Software: $1100
Supplies: +/- $300/semester
Studio fees: $500/semester

On top of all of that, you have ABSOLUTELY ZERO free time for a part time job that might ease the financial pain. You complain about textbooks?
My buddy goes to MSU bozeman he has plenty of free time to ski haha!
This semester total I spent $350 on books I figured it wasn't to terrible.
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Old 01-24-08, 09:56 PM   #43
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My buddy goes to MSU bozeman he has plenty of free time to ski haha!
That's the main reason 80% of the student body chose this school. Buncha bums.


Oh well, somebody has to make my food and bag groceries.
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Old 01-24-08, 10:14 PM   #44
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Textbooks actually are fairly expensive to produce, considering it takes an expert, or group of experts several years to write, typically, plus quite a bit of editing to add in all those fancy pictures and illustrations, then the printing and binding costs for heavy paper and all those fancy, colored pictures and illustrations.

But not as much as Barnes and Noble charges. They actually sell the same books under different ISBN's in other countries for typically about 2/3 the price. If you look around on Amazon, you can usually find these and save ~$100 a semester. Make sure you order ahead of time though. It can suck going through the first couple of weeks without the book.

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Required computer: +/- $3000 (needed to run Autocad and Rhino)
WHAT?!? There's no way you need a $3000 computer to run those. The Rhino requirements say Pentium Celeron or higher, and the AutoCAD requirements are similar. That's a $300 computer (although you'd be a masochist to go with the minimum for 3-D modelling).

That's pretty crappy they make you buy the software, too. Most schools just have engineering computer labs for running all the expensive stuff.
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Old 01-24-08, 10:23 PM   #45
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WHAT?!? There's no way you need a $3000 computer to run those. The Rhino requirements say Pentium Celeron or higher, and the AutoCAD requirements are similar. That's a $300 computer (although you'd be a masochist to go with the minimum for 3-D modelling).

That's pretty crappy they make you buy the software, too. Most schools just have engineering computer labs for running all the expensive stuff.
The recommended amount of ram for Autocad Architecture is 3GB... Accompany that with a fast processor and a good sized HD, and that's easily into the $2000 range. I've seen the list of recommended computers and most of them are "specialty" laptops ala Asus, Alienware, ect. There is one Dell XPS priced at $4100.

There are labs that the students can use, but when it's negative 800 degrees outside, the lab option disappears.
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Old 01-24-08, 10:29 PM   #46
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The recommended amount of ram for Autocad Architecture is 3GB... Accompany that with a fast processor and a good sized HD, and that's easily into the $2000 range.
Peh. I just built a dual-core Athlon64 computer with a fairly *****in' (I guess, I don't really game) video card, a 500GB hard drive, and 2GB of DDR2-800 RAM for about $700. RAM costs nothing right now.

Of course, if you're talking Power Mac, well, that's a different cup of beans.
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Old 01-24-08, 10:32 PM   #47
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Peh. I just built a dual-core Athlon64 computer with a fairly *****in' (I guess, I don't really game) video card, a 500GB hard drive, and 2GB of DDR2-800 RAM for about $700. RAM costs nothing right now.

Of course, if you're talking Power Mac, well, that's a different cup of beans.
Laptop? (pretty much required)


The Arch kids need windows. They can run Macs if windows is installed. About 1/4 of the arch department is doing just that (including one of the professors).
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Old 01-24-08, 10:37 PM   #48
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Laptop? (pretty much required)
Ah, okay. No, I'm talking desktop, and I was excluding the operating system and monitor.


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The Arch kids need windows. They can run Macs if windows is installed. About 1/4 of the arch department is doing just that (including one of the professors).
I forgot AutoCAD was one of the big holdouts. Meh. Probably won't ever bother, now. "Just install Windows!" Oh well.
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Old 01-24-08, 10:41 PM   #49
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Interesting. I bought that Macroeconomics book on eBay. The location of the auction was Washington State, so I figure it's being shipped from WA. Makes sense, right?
I got UPS tracking info emailed to me today. Naturally, I go to track it and see when expected delivery is. lol, it's not coming from WA state, it's coming from Thailand.
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Old 01-24-08, 10:41 PM   #50
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I've taught entire courses based on e-texts found on the internet.

On the other hand, sometimes you end up teaching a course in which it is crucial to have the latest translation or a course which requires a number of recent publications not available on the internet. In that case you're stuck ordering a textbook.

And yeah, they're ungodly expensive sometimes. In 15 years, they've doubled as publishers add gimmicks like color printing and worthless cds.

In the logic class I'm currently teaching, the publisher could have easily printed the solutions in the back of the book or posted them online. Instead, they make students pay for a fancy cd that contains a 1MB .pdf file. But I ordered the book because I think it's by far the best book.
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