Thursday, February 25, 2010

More textbook prices

I pulled up one of my advisee's course listing for this semester and looked up the cost of textbooks. It turns out that the bookstore has an online site, of course. The only question I have is why does anyone buy any books from the bookstore???

Biology 113
Biological Science by Freeman - package
Bookstore New $76 Amazon New $70
Bookstore Used $57 Amazon Used $20

Chemistry 132
Chemical Principles - package (used for fall and spring)
Bookstore New $335 Amazon New $237
Bookstore Used $ 251 Amazon Used $119

German 102
English Grammar for Students of German
Bookstore New $19 Amazon New $17
Bookstore Used $14 AmazonUsed $13

Na Klar
Bookstore New $222 Amazon New $109
Bookstore Used $167 Amazon Used $30

Math 165
Linear Algebra
Bookstore New $148 Amazon New $99
Bookstore Used $111 Amazon Used $15

Bookstore New $800 Amazon New $532
Bookstore Used $600 Amazon Used $197

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Cost of Textbooks

The use of reserves is on the rise this semester. There are more books being put on reserve and they are being used more often. Why? So during a fire alarm I went over to the bookstore to see how much textbooks actually cost. Unfortunately the textbook area was roped off, but the student behind the desk was bored and happy to look up prices for me.

Introductory Biology - $76
Introductory Chemistry - $300 (used for both semesters)
Calculus - $228 (used for the whole calculus series)
Physics 114 - $200 (they actually use two text books)
Mechanical Engineering 120 - $163

Yikes! A freshman science major could spend more than $500 their first semester on books? Of course, it would be much less the second semester, but that's a lot of money even to me. I need to go back with a real course schedule and see how much the textbooks would cost.

By sophomore year they know to buy their books on Amazon. I'll have to check that out with a list of real books to see how much money they save.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


What a difference there is between freshman year and sophomore year. I met with one of my sophomore advisees this week.

1. She has learned she can save a lot of money by buying her textbooks used from Amazon rather than full price from the campus bookstore.
2. She is choosing a subject matter she loves as her major even though the classes are hard and her grades aren't the hardest.
3. When she has papers and exams in the same week - she gets the paper done a week ahead of time.
4. She's in a sorority but knows she often has to say "no" to parties because she needs to study.

Yes, I take some of this with a grain of salt, but in general I don't think they have much to gain by impressing *me*...