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    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    Textbooks have outrageous prices!

    I went textbook shopping for next semester. Three out of five of the course I'm taking use custom books published specifically for the school. I typically purchase what I can online in an effort to reduce costs, but these custom books aren't available online...

    For the three classes with custom text books, the damage was $452.28.

    One of the books isn't even bound and cost me $180. It conveniently came with holes punched in the pages for a three ring binder.

    I'm hoping I can find the other two books for a reasonable price...
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    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    College texts are a racket, alright. 'Tis one of a myriad reasons why I've decided a college education is not for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
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    Very tricky. I got through about 3 years of college before they started making kinko's enforce copyright prices on xeroxed papers for course packets. Way to expand a $10 stack of pages out to around a c-note.

    If they are just collections of journal papers you could email the authors to ask for pdfs, if you can't get them yourself through the library.

  4. #4
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    I used to be able to buy some of my text books used at a book store across from campus. Saved quite a bit of money that way.

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    Senior Member colombo357's Avatar
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    One product will solve your woes: Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 Scanner. Figure the rest out yourself.
    "I just googled triple crank set and i see what your saying. this bike has 9 of those "cranksets".
    "They are showing [the TDF of Versus] at 5 different times in the day. It doesn't say which one is the live one."

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    Half.com every book has a number and they are listed there by number

  7. #7
    BeaverTerror Yan's Avatar
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    I've bought books from upper year students. I know people who have done the photocopying thing, perfect if your text is loose sheets.
    Yan

    2013 True North custom touring; 2010 Novara Randonee; 2009 Unicycle.com Club 24"; 1989 Miele Tivoli; 1979 Colnago Sport

  8. #8
    Senior Member Wylde06's Avatar
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    ..which is the reason I am delaying having to buy mine...

    Last semester, I made the stupid mistake of buying all my books (4...) on campus, and the total was $700. Amazon is your friend.

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    Also when I was in school (looking for that old man emoticon), the library kept all books and packets on reserve, so that would make it easy to get a packet to xerox myself if I really did need my own hardcopy

  10. #10
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    I used to buy my textbooks from the Ashford bookstore. They would not buy any books back and if they did it was for $7 or $8. I finally took all my books and sold them to Amazon.com and got a pretty good chunk of change for them. Just today I was able to purchase my fourth book (Statistics for Behavioral and Social Sciences) with the money that I have on credit at Amazon. So the last four books have a value of about an average of $120 each and they cost me NOTHING! As soon as I am done with a book it goes back to Amazon to replenish my account. The above mentioned book costs $127 and change at Ashford bookstore while at Amazon I got the exact same book (same ISBN) for $98.00

    At Ashford University, each class is only five weeks long, one class at a time so I can buy a book and have it resold back to them in less than 6 weeks time.

    No more University bookstores for me.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfin2004 View Post
    I used to buy my textbooks from the Ashford bookstore. They would not buy any books back and if they did it was for $7 or $8. I finally took all my books and sold them to Amazon.com and got a pretty good chunk of change for them. Just today I was able to purchase my fourth book (Statistics for Behavioral and Social Sciences) with the money that I have on credit at Amazon. So the last four books have a value of about an average of $120 each and they cost me NOTHING! As soon as I am done with a book it goes back to Amazon to replenish my account. The above mentioned book costs $127 and change at Ashford bookstore while at Amazon I got the exact same book (same ISBN) for $98.00

    At Ashford University, each class is only five weeks long, one class at a time so I can buy a book and have it resold back to them in less than 6 weeks time.

    No more University bookstores for me.
    Say, I think that is the outfit that my employer has created an "alliance" with- college credit for company training. Higher up the food chain, the more on-the-job/life experience credits you get. One of my bosses printed out the announcement, but failed to print out the attachment that had all of the pertinent info. Possible to post a link or send me the URL so that I might look into it? Traditional school schedules are just too time consuming.

    Y'all go back to *****in' about the mark-ups at the campus bookstore now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Say, I think that is the outfit that my employer has created an "alliance" with- college credit for company training. Higher up the food chain, the more on-the-job/life experience credits you get. One of my bosses printed out the announcement, but failed to print out the attachment that had all of the pertinent info. Possible to post a link or send me the URL so that I might look into it? Traditional school schedules are just too time consuming.

    Y'all go back to *****in' about the mark-ups at the campus bookstore now.




    Ashford is a Regionally Accredited school, so inclusion into these late night TV ad "schools" is apples and oranges. I am in my third year there and the only requirement is a decent computer with MS Office, good printer, and about 8 to 10 hours a week. I take one class at a time of which each class is five weeks long. Each week there are two or three assignments but are very easy. An eight to ten page essay is due at the end of each class and this usually takes the most of your total time. You have access to the bookstore (as hit on previously) and one of the best online library's you will find. The professor's live all over the US and are all extremely helpful and professional (I wish I had a gig like they have, sitting home all day and making big bucks).

    Some students take two or more classes at a time. I find one class sufficient in keeping a job and home life balanced. Taking time away from my wife while she is out in TV room while I am online is a sacrifice but there are students who take two classes at a time.

    A good thing about one class at a time is an ability to keep a concentration on one subject and an easy schedule for assignments due. I make all A's and on the Dean's List each semester. If I can maintain straight A's, anyone with an ounce of brains can do the same.

    I got a government loan to pay for all this. Full tuition paid and I even get a check about once every 2 or 3 months (varies $250 to $1800) to purchase books, computer stuff, or anything else I need, such as printing paper or office equipment.

    Here is my admissions adviser's name and number.
    Kimberly Lauter
    (800) 798-0584x2778

    You will not regret any move to educate yourself. I waited until later in life to do this as I never realized what an opportunity a Bachelor's degree in Social Science was. They also have Associate's degree as well as Master's, online or in brick and mortar in Iowa.

  13. #13
    Ridin' South Cackalacky dahut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
    I went textbook shopping for next semester. Three out of five of the course I'm taking use custom books published specifically for the school. I typically purchase what I can online in an effort to reduce costs, but these custom books aren't available online...

    For the three classes with custom text books, the damage was $452.28.

    One of the books isn't even bound and cost me $180. It conveniently came with holes punched in the pages for a three ring binder.

    I'm hoping I can find the other two books for a reasonable price...
    Ah, the cost of education. Most college texts are small run print jobs - only a few thousand. Then there's distribution and royalties and bookstore profits, etc.
    All this drives the cost up when buying from the traditional outlets. Education is a business in this country. Its not just about learning, and you gotta learn to play the game.
    Thats Lesson One.

    But thanks to wifn2004 for his positive approach and comments. He's right - playing the game is usually a step ahead.

    (Well until your loans come due for payment... thats Lesson Two )
    "Watch out for giants; they are boorish fools with tongues wagging, drunk upon their own words.
    They will try to teach you a lesson if given the chance, and you will stumble over their stinking feet."

  14. #14
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    There are ways to dodge textbook costs -- I managed to get through graduate school without buying any despite the fact that all my classmates spent thousands. Interlibrary loan (don't be afraid of using different editions), borrowing materials from others when they're not using them, and reserves help a lot. Nowadays, you can even contact authors directly and ask for electronic copy.

    Also, depending on the class, you can sometimes substitute entirely different materials without putting yourself in any academic risk. The important thing is to learn the stuff, not repeat verbatim what's in a particular resource.

  15. #15
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
    There are ways to dodge textbook costs -- I managed to get through graduate school without buying any despite the fact that all my classmates spent thousands. Interlibrary loan (don't be afraid of using different editions), borrowing materials from others when they're not using them, and reserves help a lot. Nowadays, you can even contact authors directly and ask for electronic copy.

    Also, depending on the class, you can sometimes substitute entirely different materials without putting yourself in any academic risk. The important thing is to learn the stuff, not repeat verbatim what's in a particular resource.
    Great post. I haven't spent a whole lot of money on books by following a lot of this advice.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
    There are ways to dodge textbook costs -- I managed to get through graduate school without buying any despite the fact that all my classmates spent thousands. Interlibrary loan (don't be afraid of using different editions), borrowing materials from others when they're not using them, and reserves help a lot. Nowadays, you can even contact authors directly and ask for electronic copy.

    Also, depending on the class, you can sometimes substitute entirely different materials without putting yourself in any academic risk. The important thing is to learn the stuff, not repeat verbatim what's in a particular resource.


    I tried an electronic version of a textbook about five classes ago when funds were "slim" around the wfin household. I found this version to be cheap alright, but at a cost. One dreaded reason I am not for e-books is the inability to quickly scan the glossary and return to the proper page for your answers. I do enjoy reading books but I found studying an electronic version to be utterly boring. You can quickly scan pages in a real book for the answers and I find e-books difficult to scan. It is not the same and the extra price for a real textbook is well worth it to me. The online book I had had different page numbers than the real book and this was quite confusing to the point that one assignment I had was wrong. I quickly caught my mistake after submission but redid the assignment this time with the proper pages.

  17. #17
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    Great post. I haven't spent a whole lot of money on books by following a lot of this advice.
    +1

    I didn't spend a lot on books when I was in college a few years ago.
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  18. #18
    Chief Slacking Officer ms.gio's Avatar
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    I hated that about college. I would usually scope out how much my school was selling them and see if I can get them for cheaper online.
    Quote Originally Posted by x136 View Post
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  19. #19
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfin2004 View Post
    I tried an electronic version of a textbook about five classes ago when funds were "slim" around the wfin household. I found this version to be cheap alright, but at a cost. One dreaded reason I am not for e-books is the inability to quickly scan the glossary and return to the proper page for your answers. I do enjoy reading books but I found studying an electronic version to be utterly boring. You can quickly scan pages in a real book for the answers and I find e-books difficult to scan. It is not the same and the extra price for a real textbook is well worth it to me. The online book I had had different page numbers than the real book and this was quite confusing to the point that one assignment I had was wrong. I quickly caught my mistake after submission but redid the assignment this time with the proper pages.
    I tried the e-book route as well. I had bought the hardcopy from the campus store, but moved during the semester. That book was packed away pretty good (still ain't found it), and wasn't going to drop another c-note plus for another. Found an e-copy cheaper, and could just order those chapters that hadn't been covered yet.

    The pro's were that it allowed for keyword searches of the material, and that it was cheaper. Also could adjust the font as my eyes got tired. Downside was that it was DRM, and could only access from my laptop. I'd rather gotten used to flashdrives and Google Docs by this time. Having to lug my laptop around to be able to read the material was a real drag.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
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  20. #20
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I've been able to buy most of my books through half.com and sell them for, usually, only a few dollars less than what I paid for them. A lot of times you don't need the newest edition.
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  21. #21
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    That was one advantage when I switched from engineering to English--the textbooks went from heavy and expensive technical manuals to cheap paperbacks you could get anywhere.

    A couple of years ago I got a temp job copyediting a high-school biology textbook, which kept me, and another copyeditor, and six manuscript editors, employed for well over a year. The total production budget, I was told, was $13 million. That's not really unusual for a major basic textbook that will see wide adoption. With more specialized material, you might still have significant editorial costs, but far smaller press runs, as dahut says. e-books allows you to save on some printing and production costs, but that only gets you so far in lowering your overall cost.

  22. #22
    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    You should go to amazon.com and buy the book I'm selling. If you are not already taking a Philosophy class, it's not too late to enroll. If you're not even going to college, there is no good reason not to buy my book. Other than that someone beat you to it, which is very likely.

  23. #23
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    The issue is, the books I need for class are custom to the school... They have ISBNs, but half.com nor Amazon know of them. The one class that wasn't custom to the school I did manage to purchase the international edition for $40 vs the $160 going rate. Its a brand new edition, so there aren't many used editions out there. Here's hoping the international edition isn't that different...

    I did not think of checking to see if the library has any of the books. That would be a great idea.
    My Bikes: 2009 Breezer Uptown EX | 1980 Miyata Six Ten | 1970 Hercules Three-Two-Speed
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  24. #24
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
    The issue is, the books I need for class are custom to the school... They have ISBNs, but half.com nor Amazon know of them. The one class that wasn't custom to the school I did manage to purchase the international edition for $40 vs the $160 going rate. Its a brand new edition, so there aren't many used editions out there. Here's hoping the international edition isn't that different...

    I did not think of checking to see if the library has any of the books. That would be a great idea.
    1. Had a custom Psych book once. Funny thing was, it was custom to that particular campus (community college). The prof was a part-timer who taught the same course at one of the other campuses as well. Exact same level course, exact same material. Only difference between the two books was the custom had a built-in study guide- all other subject material was identical. Turned out I really didn't need the book, as she tested from the lectures and old school transparency projections, which she got from the online PowerPoint

    2. Depending on your Prof's attitude, you might be able to ask about an acceptable alternative to the custom.

    3. My library had virtually every text in use at the school (Gen Ed, anyway). First come, first served and couldn't leave the library, but could make as many copies of the pertinent pages that was needed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  25. #25
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    I thank you for paying lots for college texts.

    One of my clients writes them for a living and gave me thousands and thousands for working on his luxury cabin. Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
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