General Question

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

How do I get this textbook NOW?

Asked by MyNewtBoobs (19026points) August 24th, 2010

I ordered a textbook off of Amazon for a class, and it should be here soon. However, I need to read the first 10 pages for the next class on Thursday. The campus library doesn’t have a copy, and neither does my local library district. Thoughts on how I can find a copy to read for class? Do you think the campus bookstore would mind if I just grabbed a copy and read the assignment in the store?

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16 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

Have you checked with any of the other people in your class to see if you can borrow theirs just for the reading?

Aethelwine's avatar

This is slightly off topic, but could you let me know how long it takes for you to get your book from Amazon? My son is ordering his tomorrow and he’s wondering how long it will take. He started his classes yesterday and is desperate to get his books asap.

Good luck! Sorry I can’t help.

Jeruba's avatar

You can order fast delivery from Amazon. It costs extra.

@papayalily, I imagine the campus bookstore might have hoped to have you for a paying customer. What they provide is instant availability.

muppetish's avatar

I’ve sat and read books at my campus’ bookstore without much fuss before (only ones marked used – I feel a though I might accidentally fold a page and get charged for it.) Is this your first week of classes? My professors are usually lenient when students are still in the process of obtaining their books. It might put you behind in the reading, but I doubt you’ll be penalized for it (unless they schedule daily quizzes.)

@jonsblond Amazon’s shipping can be somewhat spotty (if you’re using the free shipping option.) Sometimes my books will come three days later, sometimes it can take up to a week. (Unless your son purchased his book used from a seller and not Amazon itself.)

christos99's avatar

first 10 pages, are you serious?!?!?!?!?!?!? you can read that in about 5 minutes unless your taking one of my courses, nanomanufacturing and green chemistry!!! settle down, since I work at a University, i think you can return a book before the add/drop process…. check the schools bookstore return policy and rent it for a few days – lol… good luck!!!

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@jonsblond Sure. I used many different sellers so I could get the used books. The one book I ordered new (because it was cheaper) arrived today. I ordered them all on Friday night. I did use the Amazon Prime shipping, because they’ve got this deal going on that gives you a year of Amazon Prime free if you’re a student. Sometimes there’s a faster shipping option, but I’m just so desperate to save any money.

Maybe he can go to the campus library and check out all the books he needs until his arrive?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Jeruba I can understand that, but I’ve decided to purchase as absolutely little from the college as possible because of the insane markup. The price of a water bottle at the local gas stations? 99ยข. The price in our student lounge? $2.39. I’m already paying $5 a day for parking, so the boycott is enacted.

Jeruba's avatar

@papayalily, I guess I’d rather see strapped educational institutions sell things at a markup, value for value, than have to go begging because they can’t break even. I don’t mind helping them stay in business. What they’re offering you can’t get at the gas station.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Jeruba I can see that, but I’d rather they rise the price of tuition – which the government takes into account when handing out student loans – than in water bottles and movie posters, which will almost surely come out of the students own money. The teachers I can’t get at gas station, the legit diploma I can’t get at the gas station, but the books and the water bottles I really can.

Jeruba's avatar

And the water bottles and movie posters are also optional. You could call them luxury items. Why doesn’t it make more sense to make a few extra bucks on things no one needs than to hit everyone up for more tuition? Anyone who’s trying to stay debt-free and minimize the impact on their resources cares about every dollar of tuition, which is an unavoidable educational expense. (Did you know that the entire cost of school comes out of some students’ own money? Not everyone has parents footing the bill. Some are even working to pay for it and support themselves while they go to school.) Those folks won’t be spending money on water bottles and movie posters anyway.

As for the books: as I said, you can opt for the convenience of immediate availability. and in that case you should expect to pay more.

Creating college textbooks is hard work, and it’s costly work. I don’t mind seeing the people who do it get paid a fair rate.

lillycoyote's avatar

What the heck is the book you need? What is the title?

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@Jeruba I can see what you’re saying, but I don’t think most college students, regardless of how they get their money, can really afford to spend $160+ on a single book.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Jeruba It’s hard work creating the first book. The subsequent editions are almost always just shuffling the info around and adding a new paragraph or two. Plus, regular books take a lot of time and effort, they don’t charge $200 for it.

Yup, I know some students foot the bill – I am. What I am saying is this: if the school raises tuition from, say, $10k to $13k, the government will let me have that extra 3k in loans. Sure, I’ll pay for it eventually, but in a structured monthly payment and after I’ve gotten to reap the benefits of the college diploma. But if the school tries to get that extra 3k from luxury items, I get no help paying for them.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@lillycoyote ISBN 978–0136042471
Prentice Hall Atlas of World History (2nd Edition) [Paperback]
Pearson Education (Author)

Jeruba's avatar

The fact that the author’s investment is less in a second edition than in the first doesn’t mean the book gets a free ride. A new edition still requires editorial and production attention from the publisher and has to undergo numerous stages, just like a new book.

The author has to go through all the old material, recognize where updates are needed, and incorporate new content, making appropriate deletions as needed.

The new edition has to be edited: checked throughout for consistency with the old material, making sure sense was not lost with deletions, making sure global changes (such as to terms) were made, making sure errors were not introduced. It’s donkey work and doesn’t pay much. Then it has to be proofread. And that really doesn’t pay much for intense and very specialized work that not just anybody can do.

Page composition has to be reworked where alterations have changed makeup. Textbook pages typically have a far more complex design and composition than a book of straight text, especially when color is added.

New illustrations may have to be searched (a whole job in itself, just finding pix that illustrate the text), and permissions obtained, usually for a fee that becomes part of the book’s cost, and/or new artwork commissioned. Tracking the permissions file and supplying copy for the list of credits is a whole job for somebody.

Index has to be redone—another specialized job for people with uncommon talents and endurance.

And of course the entire book manufacturing process is the same, only probably more costly than for the first edition just because it’s more recent.

“Regular” books don’t require extensive permissions and use fees, custom artwork and/or photos, indexes, fact-checking, high reliability of content, and a high degree of care for accuracy and freedom from typographic and production error. These days “regular” books may not even be edited by the publisher. The error level in content of ordinary books has gone way up in recent years. Textbooks still have to maintain standards.

You’re free to spend your money any way and anywhere you want. I just think asking other students to pay for your water bottle out of their tuition fees is a mistaken set of priorities.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Jeruba Sometimes newer editions do truly update things – but most of the time, they simply need to put out a new book so that people will keep buying new books instead of simply recycling the used copies at the campus bookstore. I’ve seen 8th editions where they hadn’t updated it since it’s first 1978 publishing, they’d just moved some stuff around. If it wasn’t this way, there wouldn’t be so many students getting older editions and simply checking with another student as to exactly which pages to read and then passing with flying colors. And non-fiction books that aren’t textbooks do care quite a bit about indexes, fact-checking, high reliability, accuracy and freedom from typographic errors.

How am I asking them to pay for my water bottle out of their tuition fees? I’m asking the school to charge what it needs to in order to turn on the lights and buy desks and generally run an effective school instead of lowering the tution and getting the money from water bottles. I have zero issue with them getting the money they need. I have huge issues with how they go about getting that money.

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