I have to buy fourteen (14) textbooks for this fall semester. Yikes!!!! I know that my program is front-loaded in terms of academics — you take more credits during the first semester (14) than you do any other semester, and you spend more time in classes than you do in work practicum the first year — but still, I was not anticipating this many books!
I never really shopped around for textbooks in undergrad, but I figured I might as well check out Amazon, since I’d rather not lug 14 books home from the Cal bookstore via BART (at least it’s not on strike). Sure enough, buying them on Amazon (some new, some used from resellers) saved about $175 over buying them from the bookstore. That isn’t to say the total price is not still absurd, but as usual, it pays to do some bargain hunting.
Interestingly, I found that it was almost always cheaper to just buy the books new, which includes free shipping, than it was to buy them used from a reseller. Although the base price was generally cheaper for used books, once you add in shipping, it was equivalent or slightly higher. And you get $5 in MP3 credit for every new book you buy on Amazon, which is nice. Now I know, and so do you.
In case you’re curious, some of my riveting reading material for the next few months includes Dimensions of Social Welfare Policy, Essential Psychopathology and Its Treatment, Ethical Decisions for Social Work Practice, Dimensions in Human Behavior: The Changing Life Course, and, of course, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. (Prepare to be diagnosed.)