This is a summary of college only using two pictures; expensive as hell.
That’s my Sociology “book”. In fact what it is is a piece of paper with codes written on it to allow me to access an electronic version of a book. I was told by my professor that I could not buy any other paperback version, or use another code, so I was left with no option other than buying a piece of paper for over $200. Best part about all this is my professor wrote the books; there’s something hilariously sadistic about that. So I pretty much doled out $200 for a current edition of an online textbook that is no different than an older, paperback edition of the same book for $5; yeah, I checked. My mistake for listening to my professor.
This is why we download.
Never, EVER buy the newest edition of a book.
I PROMISE you there are cheaper alternatives, even if your professor says the old version is totally useless. 9 times out of 10, that’s completely false.
Holy crap the notes. I’ve read through most of the responses and to clarify a bit: I had no option to buy a used or older copy of the books, meaning my professor said the books were only available through my college campus and nowhere else. I was given no titles until I registered my codes and saw the titles. So I had to blindly buy a package.
With that said, this is the only time I’ve ever spent over $50 on a book. I am always looking up the best prices and negotiating with my professors on using older editions.
Here are some more sites that have textbooks for free to download or at a cheaper cost.
Don’t be afraid to buy international versions. They are hundreds of dollars cheaper, and it shouldn’t matter whether the textbook is paperback and black and white, you’re more than likely only going to use the book for a few months before it sits around and collects dust.
Check out your college campus’ library(ies). They will almost always have textbooks in many editions on the shelves.
And most importantly take your professor’s insistence of buying the newest edition with a grain of salt. I work at a library and deal with college students looking for the most current edition of a textbook. They’ll look for a 2012 copy and all I have is a 2009 and they think it won’t work. I guarantee you the content is the exact same, I’ve said this so many times to students. What changes in editions is the pictures and maybe a couple new homework problems. Major changes only exist in the exercises and homework problems in math books, but the only thing that changes are the numbers (ie. math problem #2 in edition 9 is probably #30 in edition 13).
Unless textbooks need to be updated to include a major content change (we aren’t going to see a WWIII anytime soon, your history book is fine) an older edition works fine.
Become an expert bargain hunter so that you have choices. Sometimes it doesn’t always work out like in my case, but at least you know you have money-saving options.