Making Decisions About Textbooks

Making Decisions About Textbooks
Making Decisions About Textbooks
To buy or not to buy, that is the question. Purchasing books for school can be expensive, but there are also ways to make it affordable. Once enrolled in a graduate program, for instance, you will quickly learn which books are worth borrowing from classmates, "renting", which is a new feature some colleges are offering, or buying the books.

Let’s start with making the purchase. Ultimately, it comes down to wanting to own the text for future reference, knowing the book is imperative for the progress of the class, and possibly having to make notes inside the text if it’s a workbook-type manual. Ideally, all books used in college would be good to own, but, realistically, they are not all necessary. Ask your professor if the required reading is so much that they would suggest making the investment or if taking out from the local library would suffice. Although it’s written on the syllabus as a "required text," sometimes the meaning is not so literal. On the contrary, it’s great to get a strong suggestion from a professor to make the purchase because it will be vital to your future career. But that doesn’t have to mean paying full price either.

There are many used book websites that are highly reputable and very affordable; Abebooks.com, half.com, campusbooks.com to name a few. These websites also provide helpful information on the renting option that generally cuts the cost of buying in half, yet gives you ownership of the text, the ability to make notes inside and the option to return when you are done if it’s not a keeper.

Don’t dismiss the idea of borrowing books from colleagues; the benefit of this option is multifaceted. Number one, it’s a cheap alternative to buying. Number two, it promotes discussion about the course that a peer has already completed helping you to gain insight as to what you can expect, advanced preparation etc. Number three, it creates a system of altruistic behavior, someone lends you a book, you pay it forward and lend someone else a book, and soon there is a great network of classmates borrowing and lending books while generating an open feedback session on who has taken which course.

Knowing your finances before entering any school program is highly advised, but don’t panic if you envision the cost of your books blowing your budget. There are alternatives to spending a small fortune on the text. Explore all options, don’t be afraid to speak up to your professors and peers, and be creative.
http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2010/07/

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