Buying Textbooks

<p>Should I go ahead and order textbooks off amazon for the classes I will definitely have on my schedule? Or might my professors say something about buying the textbook (like buying a certain version/ with study guides/ not have to buy it) that I might want to hold off until classes actually start?</p>

<p>Thanks.</p>

<p>I'm guessing you're an incoming freshman and you're taking mostly lower-level courses, so the books used are pretty standard. Some professors will tell you that you can buy an earlier version of a textbook (the 4th instead of the 5th or whatever). Almost no professors require a study guide. If you buy the books from amazon now, you can probably return them if you don't open them (check their return policy). If you're going to hold off until classes start, buy the books from amazon. B&N will screw you.</p>

<p>Yeah, it was really offputting to see JHU Barnes and Noble charge ~20+% more than barnesandnoble.com...I ended up getting everything from Amazon.</p>

<p>Have you visited the JHU Class of 2015 Facebook group lately. I ask because there is an extensive discussion about purchasing textbooks and the thoughts of more than 10 current students have been shared. I'd suggest checking it out to get a wide range of perspectives and to answer any follow-up questions you may have.</p>

<p>Definitely check out AbeBooks.com. Often times you can order the exact same edition that's sold in the bookstore for but a fraction of the cost in international paperback. I just got 3 math and physics books for the fall for 45$ total shipped.</p>

<p>Son has been borrowing books from upperclassmen for some of his Science/math classes. I guess the upperclassmen want to hang onto the books for future reference (something I also did as a college student, but in the end <em>never</em> used), but don't mind having him use them in the meanwhile. I would add, however, that son is a meticulous kid and would take very good care of the borrowed books.</p>

<p>If you're concerned about textbook prices, consider just emailing the professors in advance and asking them. I asked a professor if I could use an older version of a textbook, and she responded by suggesting the newer version as the older one didn't match up entirely. She also said she would place more books in reserve so that more people can borrow them from the library.</p>

<p>For the record, it turned out that she was a great lecturer, so honestly, you could get away with not even reading the book and just paying attention to her lecture and slides. Asking students who have taken the class would be helpful in this regard.</p>

<p>As for maybe wanting to hold on to a book for reference, you usually can check out the library for text books. As years pass, more textbooks are in circulation, and these textbooks are also outdated. In other words, the supply is higher, the demand is less, and so the prices go down. Within a summer, sell towards the end of summer, when everyone's trying to get a book and demand is higher.</p>

<p>For future record, buy earlier in the summer, right when you find out about your classes. Do this especially for expensive textbooks. Prices start to rise later in the summer. </p>

<p>As an example, I bought my discrete math book for $70 in mid-July (and could have gotten a better price in June, but I watched prices too long). The ISBN number is: 9780534398989</p>

<p>Amazon: Amazon.com:</a> Mathematics: A Discrete Introduction (9780534398989): Edward A. Scheinerman: Books
You can get the $80 paperback or the $125 hardcover. I have a good as new hardcover.</p>

<p>Half.com: Half.com:</a> Mathematics: A Discrete Introduction by Edward A. Scheinerman and Scheinerman (2005, Hardcover): A Discrete Introduction(9780534398989): Edward A. Scheinerman: Books
$120 for a hardcover</p>

<p>But be aware that schedule changes can and do happen. I had a class that was changed from a T/Th schedule to a M/W schedule, and had to drop it. Fortunately, I hadn't bought the book for that class yet. If this happens, you can probably resell the book online for at the price you paid or even more than the price you paid, so no big worries there.</p>

<p>If you're late in buying, use books on reserve in the library while waiting on online books to ship. B&N is overpriced.</p>