Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
Please take a moment to read our updated TOS, Privacy Policy, and Forum Rules.

Textbooks : How optional are the "optional" textbooks? Need help from CS majors, too!

zuserzuser Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
I noticed that in the UCLA bookstore you are given your required textbooks and your optional ones. Are the optional ones really required for a good grade, sometimes used, used on important occasions, or barely used at all? Could I wait until the start of class to purchase these optional textbooks? Or do I need to buy them at all?

Also, I looked around on the Internet on Bing shopping, Ebay, Amazon, textbooks.com, and abebooks.com, and couldn't find any textbooks being really cheaper than the UCLA bookstore anywhere, (all were non-auction and no cheaper than $5). Is there a cheap place to buy used or new UCLA textbooks?

CS majors:
I noticed that under the optional textbook area there were two different textbooks:

Absolute C++ (3rd)


Absolute C++ (3rd) W/codemate (Custom Ed).

Are these textbooks needed in class? If so, how often do we need them? Plus, they seem to be the same book, but different editions. So, is one edition going obsolete and being replaced by the other? Basically, which one should I buy, if I should buy either?

I know that's a lot, so thanks a bunch in advance.
Post edited by zuser on

Replies to: Textbooks : How optional are the "optional" textbooks? Need help from CS majors, too!

  • kick53rv3kick53rv3 Registered User Posts: 1,803 Senior Member
    im pretty sure you just need the savitch book, at least that was the only one i used when i took cs 31... i still have it and i'll sell it to you for cheaper than ucla if you are interest, pm me

    edit: i checked out the textbook page and i guess appearantly they changed books... random lol
  • arklogicarklogic Registered User Posts: 1,361 Senior Member
    The custom edition of Absolute C++ is just several of the chapters from the actual book taken out and made into a custom edition. To be honest I didn't use the CS book at all. In fact if you go on Amazon theres a bunch of used ones going for less than a dollar.
  • zuserzuser Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member

    How much does the Absolute C++ help you understand the concepts and the lectures in class? Plus, the lowest price on that book, the Savitch one, is $50. Where can I find the cheaper ones? Also, the reason why I'm wondering if UCLA will continue to use the Savitch edition is because the UCLA bookstore is not selling any new ones anymore. So, does that mean they're planning to discontinue using it or are they just way overstocked with used books?
  • jiceo1jiceo1 Registered User Posts: 390 Member
    When I took cs31, I didn't use any textbook either. Some people I know used it, but they used it as a reference also because they had never programmed before.
  • dylpkls91dylpkls91 Registered User Posts: 253 Junior Member
    To try and get the best textbook deal, I've been looking at the UCLA store's buyback price inquiry page (UCLA STORE: Textbook Buyback). Looking at my net cost after buyback, it looks like the UCLA store isn't such a bad deal after all. However, can I expect the buyback quotes to be substantially reduced come end of quarter, when there's a rush to sell back books?
  • zuserzuser Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
    so, with the buyback, is it guaranteed 50% if the class still uses the book next quarter, or do they do a thorough analysis of the book's condition and eventually you actually only get 20% back or something like that?
  • zzzboyzzzboy Registered User Posts: 1,142 Senior Member
    i only got like 30% on a very good condition 14A/B textbook. so no, you are not guaranteed 50%.

    obviously the point of the buyback is so they can make profit, so they will always undercut you.

    just sell it back to younger students...
This discussion has been closed.