When was the last time you checked out a book, let alone read a book for pleasure? It’s probably been awhile. Since media is moving all online, we’d rather just search for our information, versus digging it up from bulky books. However, this archaic infrastructure will save you, just maybe.
Most professors reserve the only copy of the textbook at the library so other students can use it. However, you can request the book before the next semester starts allowing you gain access to it. However, even if you do take the book, the library will probably hunt you down in return of the book. This sadly happened to me.
If you’re school has the ability to loan and borrow books from other schools, take advantage of this. Place a request of the textbook through other schools. Now, the downside is that you might only have access to the book for a few weeks, but if no one requests it, just request it again. You might also want to consider grabbing the older addition of the book.
Professors probably hate updating books just like you do, and most of the professors’ material is consistent with older text. Ask your professor if you can get away using an older version of a textbook. These books are more accessible at the library and are cheaper to purchase then their newer kin. Now that you’re familiar with the library again, let’s move on to buying textbooks.
Believe me; the bookstore at your school does a great job of draining your wallet. So before you start shopping online and elsewhere, head on over to the bookstore and find your textbooks’ ISBN number. This is very important to ensure you get a consistent version of your book. The most legit site to purchase books is probably Amazon.com. You will find most of your textbooks there. However, if you want to save more money, consider sites like half.com to find cheaper and international versions of your textbooks. Use the ISBN number to make your searches.
I’ve been pretty safe purchasing international versions of books. Even though the book on the front says “Not for sale in the US” no one cares. I think you also get this letter with the book mentioning that the textbooks are okay to be used in the US. I have encountered a situation in one class I took where the professor was against us using an international version of the book (since he knew the author). However, that problem was squared away by answers from the author and the publisher. The professor allowed us to use the textbook (our test were open book).
I don’t endorse this method, as I always purchase a hard copy of a book. However, for educational purposes, you can find a PDF version of a book online (sometimes). This isn’t a 1-2-3 step process. It can be a very draining and annoying process.
To begin, find the name of the book, author(s), edition, and ISBN number.
- Open up your browser (Google Preffered)
- Search using keywords, fill in the components leaving the parentheses [“book name” author + rapidsare + download] ex: [“Calculus” James Stewart + rapidshare + download]
- The search will bring up webpages. Go through the pages and see if you can find a download file of some sort.
Just to note, you have a better chance of finding more general textbooks. Finding a specialized text might be impossible. Again, I don’t recommend this. You can end up downloading viruses and Trojans onto your computer.
To be quite honest, some of the easiest methods to get resources is just by asking your classmates and older friends you know that have taken a class. Sometimes you can borrow the book or buy it cheap from them. On the other hand, they might also have PDF versions of homework solutions and even old exams. Again, be weary of things you do. If you have to ask someone if it’s okay for me to do this, then it’s probably not safe.
This method is just as risky as the others mentioned. Again, I don’t endorse this. To do this, buy the book and make sure you can return it. Obtain or own a camera of good quality. Mount the book onto a book reader stand or something. Proceed to take pictures of your book. Make sure you have good lighting and steady hands. If not, the quality will be questionable and unreadable.
This can take you a good hour or two. Not fun!
You can also photocopy a book. This one is pretty obvious, but again, these methods take a lot of time. If you’re persistent you could get away with an illegal version of the text.