Bloody college bookstores

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Hilary the Touched
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Bloody college bookstores

Post by Hilary the Touched » Sun Aug 17, 2008 4:57 pm

I registered for a class at my community college over the summer, because I'd really like to at least complete my associates degree before I croak.
Tuition is perfectly reasonable, especially when you take into account the fact that my teacher had, like, 30 years experience and there were fewer than 24 people in the class, but the books?? :shock:
I signed up for the class kind of late, and ended up making a mad dash for the bookstore (in which I was lucky, because two days a week over the summer, it closed at 2 p.m.) and snagging the books for my class there. I was lucky to get both of them used, but together they cost over $150!! They were both paperbacks, and one was spiralbound! WTF!
But that's not what drove me here--no, I'm here because the department head has decided that they'll be using a different text this semester. This text and lab book are unwanted by any instructor at the 8 or so campuses of the college, and hence the bookstore has no interest.
Right now I got 'em on eBay, with nary a nibble. :-(

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Post by Gillian » Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:04 pm

How bloody outrageous! Just imagine the cost for a full course load!

How much time's left on the auction, Hil?

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Post by Foodie » Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:54 pm

The cost of college textbooks is ridiculous. I remember nearly having a heart attack at the start of each new quarter when it came time to pay for those books. And to have the professor decide not to use them and the store not taking them back is just so wrong...like seriously evil...

What books are they? Maybe somebody on this message board would be interested in them. You know know...

-Foodie :-(

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Hilary the Touched
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Post by Hilary the Touched » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:00 pm

Here's the auction--http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... :IT&ih=010
Somebody's hit "Buy it now", but not remitted payment yet . . .

bloody aggro :evil:

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Helen8
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Post by Helen8 » Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:42 pm

the department head has decided that they'll be using a different text this semester.

Well, then. The bloody fickle department head needs to give you your money back!

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Post by Hilary the Touched » Mon Aug 18, 2008 8:02 am

I clearly didn't explain very well, Helen--I used the books for the summer session. That's concluded, and I'd like to sell the books back to the bookstore, but a different text will be used starting in the FALL semester.
So I did my course, but now I'm stuck with these books.



Still no word from my eBay buyer. :mad:

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Post by grannybear » Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:07 am

From what I understand, When a Professor or Department Head have just published a new book, that is the one they use in class. Adds to their royalties, etc.

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Post by fruitbat » Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:19 pm

grannybear wrote:From what I understand, When a Professor or Department Head have just published a new book, that is the one they use in class. Adds to their royalties, etc.
We used the text of the department head once, he was not the Prof of that particular class. It was well-written and I actually regret having lent it to a classmate. I haven't seen it since and there have been times that I would have liked to check something.

In one class, (this is all many, many moons ago), we all bought the required text. The prof. happily ignored it for most of the year. For one class he recommended we read two paragraphs. Seriously.

The worst part? The two paragraphs were unintelligible.
(It wasn't his text, thank goodness.)

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Post by Helen8 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:11 pm

Hilary, any word . . . or money . . . from the winning bidder yet?

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Post by Hilary the Touched » Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:43 pm

Huzzah!
Yes--payment received, book mailed, seller feedback left. I may be left with birdcage lining with the damn lab book, though . . . :mad:
That's what happens when you only print, like, 7,625 copies of something. No economies of scale.
I mightn't have minded so much, but the illustrations--all black and white--in the lab manual were reproduced so poorly that half the time you couldn't see what they were intended to elucidate, and the text had numerous typos and other errors, including a figure illustrating a discussion of the formation of the Mediterranean Sea that featured a misspelled labeling of "Mediterranean".

So I'm happier about that . . .
my new kvetch though (*sigh*) has to do with paying for my autumn class: I thought it made some sense to try and get the other physical science I need out of the way, maybe while I still actually remembered any of the material, so I registered for physical geology, but didn't pay for it (among other things, I was debating signing up for an additional class). Well, the finance branch seems to have dropped me from the class--when I sign in online, there's no tuition fee posted for me to pay.
The class is now shown as full.
It still shows up in my schedule, so I'm hoping I'm okay--I went by the business office today to try and clear it up, because I don't have anything else to do in my life, gas is so cheap, and the drive to the campus so pleasant, but just as I stepped up to the counter to ask, the power went out, which was the cue for everyone in there to abandon what they were doing and begin milling around like 15-year-olds, demanding to know if they could go home.
Yeah, okay, I get that you don't have any access to online information, but maybe you could get my information, check it when the power comes back on, and GIVE ME A CALL??? Or would asking you to try to do your job be just too damn much bother??
Fucking hell.
Those are my tax dollars those twits are taking home every month.

So I ended up just going to my gym, BECAUSE THE ELLIPTICAL DOESN'T RUN ON ELECTRICAL POWER. :pc

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Post by Funkay » Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:22 pm

A friend of mine just spent 300 for 3 books. The books for my two classes will probably set me back about 170, but I haven't decided if I'm keeping one of them. For those keeping score, this is my fourth fall semester out of the last five years. Somebody graduate me, please. I still have at least two more years of this crap and what degree will I have? Bachelor's. I should get at least a Master's for single-handedly paying the salaries of at least five professors.

I have to add that if I drop one it'll save me 100 bucks for a book and I won't miss House, M.D. this fall. I could always watch it online, but there's no fun in that, you know, with no commercials. I'm a terrible person. No wonder I can't get ahead in life! I'm a slave to Hugh Laurie!.......which, I guess isn't THAT bad? :mrgreen:

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Post by Helen8 » Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:53 am

which, I guess isn't THAT bad?

Not in my book! Slavish servitude is a natural result.

pat

Post by pat » Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:51 pm

Going to add my 2 cents here, as I'm sort of in the business--on the other end.

Book reps are like drug reps--they give the profs goodies (free books) in the hopes that the profs will adopt their text. No mention is made of the cost, and unless the prof does some research, the prof will probably never know how much it costs.

In addition, the reps are always trying to sell add-ons--working papers, lab books, study guides--or the worst of the lot, custom publishing (which means the prof can pick & choose chapters to be included). Custom publishing is always touted as a cost saver for the student, but unless the prof reuses the book there is simply no market for the used book.

Business books are some of the priciest, along with law and medical texts, and accounting, which I teach, are usually the most expensive of the business texts. When we decide upon an intermediate accounting text (the decision made by me & the other prof who teaches the sequence), we have a grand total of about 6 books to choose from. Most of the publishing houses has only one intermediate text, and there's about 5 publishing houses. Not a huge supply, in other words, so we're locked into a book that will cost between $150 and $250 (hardcover) for starters.

Luckily, we use the same book for both courses in the sequence, so that helps a bit. We've gone to a loose-leaf version to try to lower the cost, but again, that limits the ability to sell the book back (by the way, our bookstore will buy back ANY book, whether it's used again or not!). Since Intermediate is generally only taken by majors who will likely keep the book, we haven't heard too much complaining on that point. Still, the book runs $120.

Here's some things I've learned during the years.......

Addall is your friend. Addall is a website that searches for books and provides links to purchasing them. It calculates shipping charges. You can search by ISBN, author, or title. Go to the bookstore & get the ISBN & then try Addall. When my daughter was in grad school we used Addall exclusively, and saved a bundle.

Foreign versions. Cheaper than the US, so if you can have the book shipped overseas to a friend & then have the friend send it to you, you'll save money. The cover might look different, but chances are pretty good that it's the same book. Last spring I had a student with Indian connections come in with a different looking text. We had to tweak the homework problems some (her numbering was different for some chapters, but after we figured out what was up, she'd check her book against mine or one of the students).

And trust me, about the royalties--you're wrong. The royalties for writing a text are so small that it's not worth your time. Besides that, writing a text generally doesn't get you tenure--it's just not the type of publication that universities like to see; it's not research!

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Post by Gillian » Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:28 pm

Infernal, is that YOU!!?
*snif*

pat

Post by pat » Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:55 pm

Yeah, it's me. I come check what's going on with y'all.


aaa.gif

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