General Question

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Is there a website that tells you what the difference between book editions is?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (19041points) January 5th, 2011

Especially textbooks? Or any resource other than having the 2 books and holding them side by side?

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12 Answers

janbb's avatar

Not that I know of. You could look them up on Amazon and see if there are reviews that mention the different editions.

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

In some books, I’ve seen sections in the front matter that have information about what’s new in that particular edition. However, I don’t think there’s a particular resource for discovering the differences in different editions of textbooks.

I’m sorry I can’t help you further. Good luck!

anartist's avatar

Try Library Thing—gives you card catalog info to catalog your own books and allows you to search catalogs of numerous scholarly libraries worldwide. Quite amazing.

Of course, this is just cataloging data: title, author, publisher, publishing date, edition, translation language, subject categories, brief description, sometimes a cover image

Once you find the editions you want to compare, you would have to do more research if you are seeking to find content revisions, except for the few that may be listed on the catalog card like “with new preface by so-and-so” or “listing new findings since [date of last publishing]”

Jeruba's avatar

Are you trying to find out if you can use an older edition of a textbook for a particular class? If I had that question I would take it to the instructor and just ask: will I be ok with the 9th edition of the textbook, or do I have to have the 10th? The instructor might well know what the differences are, especially if he or she has taught the class longer than the latest edition has been out.

You could do a comparison of the tables of contents of the two just to see if any chapters or main sections have been added or deleted and also to match up the page numbers if any assignments are going to be given in terms of page numbers.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Jeruba ::blush:: Was I that obvious?

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t think it’s any disgrace! With textbooks as expensive as they are (I paid $120 today for one book), I expect instructors to be sensitive on the point and very understanding. I’d ask this question openly in class and not be embarrassed about it. More than one person might want to know.

In the class I had last spring, the instructor said in the first session, “We’re using the eleventh edition, which is just out, but if all you’ve got is the tenth, it’s not that different and you’ll be fine.”

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@papayalily More often than not, there are minimal, insignificant changes made in “new” editions – so I would definitely speak to your professors, like @Jeruba mentioned. This isn’t always the case, but I’ve heard too many professors say the same thing for it to be untrue. Older editions are much, much cheaper – and why would you pay up to two times more for the same material? Lunacy! :) Good luck.

Not_the_CIA's avatar

The changes are usually minimal. I bought older editions. Then if we were assigned something that was changed (like questions at the end of a chapter) I would ask to borrow a book and hit-up the copy machine. Saved tons of money that way. And check to see if your library has a copy on “reserve”.

glenjamin's avatar

I take it you are looking at old editions because you want to save money. The same goal can be acheived by getting the ‘international edition’ of the same book. It is basically identical to the U.S. edition, it might just have a different cover. I have been buying them for a couple of years now and am saving a whole lot of money ($45 for a textbook that is priced at $150.. and its brand new!)

Jeruba's avatar

Tell us more, @glenjamin. What do you know about “international editions”? Why do they exist? How did you find out about them, and how do you get them? Have they been edited for a global audience—e.g., removal of American cultural references, internationalization of units of measure, etc.? Can you get them in all academic disciplines or only some, or only from some publishers?

glenjamin's avatar

@Jeruba , all of your answers can be found HERE

Jeruba's avatar

Wow, thanks!

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