Book buying tips

  1. What is your approach to buying textbooks? Do you buy in advance or wait until class starts to find out what you'll actually use? Do you buy new or old editions? Do you buy the books the school recommends, or do you shop around for a text that explains the material better? Do you have any textbook buying tips? Good websites to buy books?
  2. Visit JeanettePNP profile page

    About JeanettePNP

    Joined: Feb '06; Posts: 1,947; Likes: 1,348
    Pediatric Nurse Practitioner; from US
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in Pediatric pulmonology and allergy

    13 Comments

  3. by   Imagine.Peace
    I definitely always buy the books in advance. As long as you save your receipt, it shouldn't be a problem to get a refund for books should your professor change the textbook requirements. I always buy the current edition, but try to get them used because they are so much cheaper! I ALWAYS buy the textbook that the school recommends. All textbooks are different so you should go with the book the teacher requires for the class. You can always buy supplemental material or find resources online to help you understand the material better.

    The best advice I can offer on buying textbooks is to NOT buy them from your school bookstore, if at all possible. The prices there are insanely expensive. Unfortunately a few of my required books have only been available through my school's bookstore, but mostly I've found them online. I found a truly awesome website that I use for buying textbooks: http://www.cheapesttextbooks.com/ It really does find the best prices. It also gives you a breakdown of the shipping information and any deals the site might be offering. One other note, if you do buy the books online make sure they aren't the international version of the book.

    Good luck!
  4. by   shrimpchips
    I always buy in advance. I also buy the edition that they ask for, which is usually the most recent edition. I also try to buy them used because you can really save a lot and in nursing school you will spend a fortune just on books. I buy my books off amazon
  5. by   madnurse2b
    I always buy them in advance - I'm an anal retentive pre-reader before classes start. I buy the current edition - but I do try to always buy used, either online or I have a special store in town that carries used textbooks that is not affiliated with any of the colleges or universities.
  6. by   AOx1
    As an instructor, I encourage my students to buy early from sites like Amazon and betterworldbooks.com

    Even though we don't open up our syllabi until a few weeks before class starts, I often email my students the ISBN #s and names/authors of the texts we will be using so they can buy early if they decide to.

    Also, check your library for the recommended but not required texts. Often, you will use these infrequently enough that this can save you money. And one thing you really should consider: buy a good NCLEX book early on in that divides things up by topic (Ex- [peds, ob, med-surg, psych) so that you can use this as a study aid.
  7. by   CarrieH
    I usually go for Amazon and Barnes and Noble (online) and I buy ahead of time to get the best deal. Even new books are usually cheaper on these sites than in the school bookstore.
  8. by   dianajh73
    Apparently I am in the monority. Let me preface this by saying I start NS tomorrow morning, so my experience is based on pre-reqs (Anatomy, Physiology, Micro, Food Nutrition & Geography (for fun)). I bought the recommended books, but got them used through Amazon.com and exclusively bought previous edition. I found VERY FEW changes between editions.

    I used the same book for Anatomy and Phys and, had I not been paying attention in class I would have missed 1 question on 1 test (my book had an error on an illustration), otherwise it was the same as the others except one chapter was moved out of order. My edition was actually 9th and they had just come out with the 11th (instructor used 10th anyway). I got As in all of those classes with previous editions. Just had to pay attention and match up illustrations, rather than page numbers.

    Doing this I save a FORTUNE! The A&P book was $130 but I got for $15. Same with micro. Have found the NS books for 1/4 of the price when buying used current ed. 1/8 of the price for prev. ed.

    I NEVER disrupt class or expect the instructor to cut me slack for having older book, I just get by. Figure worst case scenario I can buy the "right" book later if I need to and I'm only out a few bucks.

    Start NS tomorrow and I already have all of the books. Mostly the current editions, but all used. I do have a cpl of older editions, but you can see what is updated by reading the product description carefully. I also consider how old the previous version is. Some bks are updated almost annually with few changes versus others where the previous ed. is 6 years older. All a judgment call, but worth it to me. But I don't stress out and see it as a fun challenge more than anything - To each his own.
  9. by   stereotypical
    I would only buy from the school book store if it was something you could not get anywhere else (i.e. booklet made by your professor, something that would only be a local distribution). Otherwise, the internet is the way to go.

    It is already been mentioned here, but you should get the book info for your classes. Most teachers are good like that, and in my experience (not NS, but in UG classes) there are professors out there who understand it may be more affordable to get the older edition.

    I have been using bigwords.com for my book shopping. Thanks to that site, I've spent <$250 on books for this semester. The book store was selling a box with all the required texts "that will definitely be used" for over $500.

    Another option to consider - check the graduating nursing class at school. They will want to get rid of those books and you may be able to score a good price.
  10. by   madnurse2b
    Quote from dianajh73
    Apparently I am in the monority. Let me preface this by saying I start NS tomorrow morning, so my experience is based on pre-reqs (Anatomy, Physiology, Micro, Food Nutrition & Geography (for fun)). I bought the recommended books, but got them used through Amazon.com and exclusively bought previous edition. I found VERY FEW changes between editions.

    I used the same book for Anatomy and Phys and, had I not been paying attention in class I would have missed 1 question on 1 test (my book had an error on an illustration), otherwise it was the same as the others except one chapter was moved out of order. My edition was actually 9th and they had just come out with the 11th (instructor used 10th anyway). I got As in all of those classes with previous editions. Just had to pay attention and match up illustrations, rather than page numbers.

    Doing this I save a FORTUNE! The A&P book was $130 but I got for $15. Same with micro. Have found the NS books for 1/4 of the price when buying used current ed. 1/8 of the price for prev. ed.

    I NEVER disrupt class or expect the instructor to cut me slack for having older book, I just get by. Figure worst case scenario I can buy the "right" book later if I need to and I'm only out a few bucks.

    Start NS tomorrow and I already have all of the books. Mostly the current editions, but all used. I do have a cpl of older editions, but you can see what is updated by reading the product description carefully. I also consider how old the previous version is. Some bks are updated almost annually with few changes versus others where the previous ed. is 6 years older. All a judgment call, but worth it to me. But I don't stress out and see it as a fun challenge more than anything - To each his own.
    I will say that for my school - we have digital copies of the books, and user agreements for websites and special features. You would have to buy the additional copy of the user agreements for this. I love the digital copies and do almost all of my reading on my computer. I would far rather carry this baby around than 40 tons of books (and I NEVER thought I would be the person to say that). Plus the digital stuff lets us highlight, export, make flash cards etc. to the digital copy and pull them up seperately or print. LOVE LOVE LOVE this stuff
    If you have this option I highly recommend it.
  11. by   ~Mi Vida Loca~RN
    I shop around for the price most times, I have bought 2 international editions, the first time wasn't on purpose and my book was the exact same as the US edition, minus the cover and it wasn't hard back. I compared it with my class mates and it was Identical so my teacher said it was acceptable.

    They just posted the books for Fall 09 and I am shopping around right now to buy them so I can review them this summer.
  12. by   watersamy
    I highly recommend www.Dealoz.com for buying textbooks. This site searches ALL other online booksites (including amazon & ebay) and will return all prices for either renting or buying testbooks that are both new and used. You can also use this site for sellling your book back and it will return all online book companies that will buy it back from you and what they will pay you so that you can take the best deal.
  13. by   aachavez
    I only buy new books when I can't find used. Some school bookstores have a buyback program, so they will have the current edition, used, and at a cheaper price. Still pricey, so usually I try amazon, or google search cheap text books.

    Sometimes I buy in advance, most teachers I've had don't mind a previous version. Why issue a new version of A&P? It's not like much changes, or there's a tremendous amount of new info.... But some will insist on only the current version. So keeping that in mind, make sure you keep recipts!
  14. by   turnforthenurse
    I try to buy books in advance and I also try to talk with my fellow students regarding which books are necessary and which ones they didn't use at all. I always buy my books from Amazon.com because they were a lot cheaper that way.

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