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I've found something more expensive than skiing

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
About to push the Buy Now button when my daughter comes in back from her first day of class (new semester) at her college. She told me she had to buy the text book for her Law and Economics class cost $144.

Trust me its not Grays Anatomy. Its just a basic bound book that is a couple hundred pages thick. Unbelievable, but not to be cyncial I'm sure its full of priceless knowledge that will serve her over the years!
post #2 of 29
thanks for the reminder. My son's textbooks for this semester come to a measly $512. And that's buying some used, and using 2 from last semester.

It's quite the marketing scam that the textbook sector has going these days.

Have your daughter ask the professor if she can use an earlier edition of the same book. Oftentimes you can pick that up for a lot less, especially if it is used. There are usually very minor changes from one edition to the next and a good professor is ok with that.
post #3 of 29
Ask her what she did with the money from the books she sold back last semester...

I remember gouging my folks for textbook money every semester then the party money that resulted from cashing them back in at the bookstore at the end of the semester. It's harsh when the instructor picks a new edition that makes the used versions obsolete. I think that's how professors make most of their money. They use each others texts.
post #4 of 29
When I saw the heading I thought 'was this guy a virgin until now?'.
Guess not.
When I was broke, in college, I used to get the reserve copy of textbooks at the library and photocopy the pages I needed to read each week.
post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

I remember gouging my folks for textbook money every semester then the party money that resulted from cashing them back in at the bookstore at the end of the semester.
wow, what kind of books did you have? My son sold his back and got a whopping $28 last semester. They wouldn't even take most of them. Outdated. But new last semester. Figures, huh? I put them on half.com and got rid of a few.
post #6 of 29
The good texts are worth keeping, and in retrospect were worth the money. I still have many of my college texts and refer to them fairly often.

I don't know about law books long term utility, but that text is worth, what, 40 minutes of billable time? Sounds like a bargain in the greater scheme of things.
post #7 of 29
I guess the market for used textbook market was more lucrative in the towns where I went to college. I often could get $28.00 for one book. If I didn't get $100.00 at the end of the semester either I needed to keep several for other courses or lots were replaced by newer editions.

But then I often paid over $400.00 for the books at the start of the semester.
post #8 of 29
My daughter saved a good deal of money on some textbooks last semester through half.com... http://www.half.ebay.com/
post #9 of 29
If the textbook is Judge Posner's "Economics and the Law" or the In a Nutshell series "Economics and the Law", then I probably have copies she can have. PM me if that's the case; seriously...

N.B. - the editions are 25 years old, but the basic principles regarding contracts, torts and anti-trust still hold true; she can probably read up on the "new" material in about an hour if she checks out the new books from the reserve section of the library...
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post
The good texts are worth keeping, and in retrospect were worth the money. I still have many of my college texts and refer to them fairly often.

I don't know about law books long term utility, but that text is worth, what, 40 minutes of billable time? Sounds like a bargain in the greater scheme of things.
The same is true for me. I kept about 80% of my textbooks, and half of those still get used 20 years later. I borrowed a probability text from a friend and really wish now that I had just bought the damned thing.
The biggest danger in getting old editions is that the problems/exercises are usually changed, even if there are only very minor changes to the text itself. Sucks pretty bad for you if you're assigned HW from the book and you do old problems. But, I have no idea if law textbooks even have problems in them.

Anybody ever had to use a text that the prof wrote? I had the same scatterbrained, disorganized prof for three classes...he would think of something, start scribbling on the board, suddenly remember something else, run over to another spot and scribble more, and repeat this for the length of the class. The third time, we used his text, and the book was just like him. Short chapters that barely touched on a topic and all unrelated to each other. Like reading a Larry King column.
I stopped doing the homework halfway through and just accepted that a C was going to trash my GPA, but I wasn't going to waste any more time on his gibberish.
post #11 of 29
I kept most my gradschool texts except for the IRS code books for Federal Taxation and the math courses. I do use the others from time to time.
post #12 of 29
http://www.bigwords.com/
http://www.cheapesttextbooks.com/
http://www.allbookstores.com

There was one more really good one that I used during college (almost 2 years ago...gasp!) Some college kids have also started their own local textbook exchange...at Columbia some kids set up a website that we would use to post our books and then swap them. Worked like a charm because we could meet up on campus, pay with cash (and not have to wait for shipping), then the next semester hand off the book to the next sucker taking the same course. Saved me some dough!

Then again, I don't condone this, but there's always the option of finding a scanned (illegal) .pdf of the book in question and printing it out. Just remember to save some trees and print on both sides of the paper!
post #13 of 29
I was thinking hookers and blow...
post #14 of 29
Haha, welcome to my life. $500/semester in textbooks is always fun, and it's not worth it to sell it back cause you pay $100+ for the book and then they'd give you $10ish. Awesome.
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonni View Post
I was thinking hookers and blow...
That's only available at the U of Nevada Bookstore
post #16 of 29
skiing is not expensive. i usually average $750 per ski trip and here in Houston we have an nfl team that has yet to finish above .500 since it started 7 years ago and wants 800 for 8 games. i guarrantee i'm getting more out of my 750 in a three day ski trip than those thousands of texans fans are for 8, 3 hour games.

it's always how you look at things.
post #17 of 29
If you want something more expensive than sking, I suggest you try racing cars, boats or airplanes
post #18 of 29
Information is the cheapest thing you'll ever buy. Today my wife spent $450 on two (2) text books, even saved $50 because one was used. Hopefully we'll get it back when she can charge an accountants rate rather then that of a bookkeeper

If you want expensive try golf. I heard a speaker say it's just like cocaine.
You spend all day and a ton of money hitting and chasing a speck of white.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virtus_Probi View Post

Anybody ever had to use a text that the prof wrote? I had the same scatterbrained, disorganized prof for three classes...he would think of something, start scribbling on the board, suddenly remember something else, run over to another spot and scribble more, and repeat this for the length of the class. The third time, we used his text, and the book was just like him. Short chapters that barely touched on a topic and all unrelated to each other. Like reading a Larry King column.
.
Worse than that. At least one or two a year were writing their own book but it wasn't done yet. So instead of spending $X on a nice bound text you might be able to find used you got to spend $2X on a huge pile of copied notes. No binding, no illustrations, no resale value. What a racket.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post
It's harsh when the instructor picks a new edition that makes the used versions obsolete. I think that's how professors make most of their money. They use each others texts.
I had an instructor for a required text require a book she wrote. The book was paperback, bound with some tear out assignments. The whole semester, she only asked for 3 or 4 pages to be torn out and returned to her, but this prevented one from finding the book used.

I did have an economics prof who taught out of his own book. You could buy the hardcover of course, but he also offered a PDF for free, or a version bound from the university's copy center for $10 or $15.
post #21 of 29
I usually was offered diddly-squat for selling my textbooks back at the end of the semester, so I kept most of mine. At the time, I was naive enough to believe that all the math classes I had to take would be useful in some way , so I diligently kept all my math books. Never looked at any of them again; finally tossed them all in the book-recycling bin a few years ago.

I did keep some of my history (US history, art history) books around; those have been useful and I'm glad I've kept those.
post #22 of 29
see cnx.org

If you ignore this message and don't research that site... you deserve to pay retail for textbooks.

That is all.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altaman View Post
If you want something more expensive than sking, I suggest you try racing cars, boats or airplanes
...or motorcycles, but yeah, you get the point.

Racing pretty much anything is absolutely ridiculous when it comes to $$$.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by emtnate View Post
I had an instructor for a required text require a book she wrote. The book was paperback, bound with some tear out assignments. The whole semester, she only asked for 3 or 4 pages to be torn out and returned to her, but this prevented one from finding the book used.
That's a bad prof.

Quote:
I did have an economics prof who taught out of his own book. You could buy the hardcover of course, but he also offered a PDF for free, or a version bound from the university's copy center for $10 or $15.
That's a good prof!
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolaib211v View Post
Racing pretty much anything is absolutely ridiculous when it comes to $$$.
It depends on how serious you are about winning and the circuit in which you choose to compete. Around here, you can race sailboats for under $200 a season (or for free if you want to crew on the OPB program). Of course, if you're Larry Ellison and money is no object you can spend as much as you want trying (and failing) to "buy it".
post #26 of 29
I had a math prof who thought he was doing us a favor (saving money) by not having a required text. There was one reserve copy in the department library that closed at 8 pm. Since he didn't specify it, the bookstore didn't order it. He didn't explain his thinking -- I thought the book was out of print.

His lecture style was hard to follow, too. And since there was in effect no book, I was frantically trying to take notes and not even trying to understand. When the blackboard filled up, he never erased it -- he would just find a gap over on one edge and start writing smaller. Try learning graduate-level math from that!

Years later after I was out of school I stumbled across a brand new copy in a bookstore, and I bought it (still not quite sure why... maybe I thought I would finally figure out what the prof was talking about.) And yes, it was still in print. (Rotman's "Theory of Groups", by the way.)
post #27 of 29
It is far worse when they do erase the board BEFORE I'VE FINISHED WRITING IT DOWN IN MY NOTES than it is to continue the solution to other obscure parts of the board. Just my opinion. Mathlab saved my butt bigtime in gradschool.
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by skicougar View Post
skiing is not expensive.
I agree. I believe when I calculated my cost per day of skiing at Snowbird for last season, it was something like $12/day and that was including gas for driving up and down the caynon. IMHO, there's no better way to spend $12 than a day of skiing at Snowbird.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altaman View Post
If you want something more expensive than sking, I suggest you try racing cars, boats or airplanes
That's why I race on other peoples boats. One boat that I've raced on has a averaged budget of $94,000 a week! And that doesn't include the purchase cost of the boat which is a few million more.

And it's all for bragging rights at the bar, nothing more.

I wish that I earned that a year.

That's one reason that I took up skiing when I was younger. It was something that I could actually afford.

Mike
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