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Advice, Apostol or Spivak 
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#1
Jul2509, 08:46 PM

P: 85

Last year I took ap calculus ab, and im taking ap calculus bc next year. So i decided to refresh my memory this summer and went through The Calculus Lifesaver by Adrian Banner, and thoroughly enjoyed it since i didn't get the depth that it went into in class. Now i know there are more "in depth" books out there, specifically Apostol and Spivak.
I read what I could of them online, which was only like a couple of pages, and liked Apostol's approach a little better, but could someone lead me towards which one will give me a true understanding of calculus? I love a challenge, there would defiantly have to be problemssolutions, good explanations of proofs, theorems, defiantly have to cover calculus AB and BC, and really overall just give me that true mathematical understanding I'm looking for. Thanks in advance. 


#2
Jul2509, 09:10 PM

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P: 712

Tom Apostol's generally is the tougher to read among those two. But you can't go wrong with either one. I'm going through Spivak's right now, and I'm loving it.
Spivak's IMO is more enjoyable to read, Apostol's is a bit dry but I guess it's alright for serious students. In short, they're pretty much interchangeable. 


#3
Jul2609, 01:28 AM

P: 538

I agree with thrill3rnit3 about the two books being interchangeable. If you go through either book, you will be getting the best education in calculus you can get through a textbook in my opinion. I wish I had known about either of these books when I was first learning calculus. If you liked Apostol, don't be afraid to go with it, and you will definitely learn calculus thoroughly. I think he covers quite a bit more material than Spivak, although I believe there is an answer book for Spivak, which could be helpful for selfstudy. In answer to your question, they definitely cover calculus for AB, BC, and beyond.
These books can be expensive, especially Apostol, so be sure to see if your library has them or if you could get them through interlibrary loan. I thought I should mention that there is a third calculus book to complete the tribunal, and that is Differential and Integral Calculus by Richard Courant. It is a more intuitive and physical approach than the above two books. There is a newer version called Introduction to Calculus and Analysis that was supposed to be developed to fit the American calculus course better. Spivak and Apostol have much more rigor though. 


#4
Jul2609, 08:20 AM

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P: 712

Advice, Apostol or Spivak
The most important thing in going through either book (especially Spivak's) is to do ALL or MOST of the exercises.



#5
Jul2609, 10:42 AM

P: 85

Thanks to both of you, but i still have one more question...
Im assuming then that apostol's book doesn't have answers to his exercises then? 


#6
Jul2609, 11:15 AM

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P: 712

Spivak's doesn't
edit: actually he has answers to SELECTED problems 


#7
Jul2609, 02:01 PM

P: 538

Yes, Spivak has answers only to selected exercises in the back of his book. But, there is a totally separate answer book that has actual solutions or hints to all the exercises.
I looked at Apostol again, and he does have answers (not solutions) to almost all of his exercises. The only ones he doesn't include in the back are the prooflike questions. Apostol is very expensive, so you might want to look at getting Spivak and his answer book, which looks like it would cost you less than if you got Apostol's book. I've never really read through Spivak, but looking at it some more, it looks very, very good. It's unfortunate that Apostol is so expensive, as it is very good as well. It's a no lose situation. 


#8
Jul2609, 03:22 PM

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P: 712

There are international versions available at Alibris.com that sells for about $22 each.
http://www.alibris.com/booksearch.de...4742937&cart=1 I think these versions are paperback and are made of cheaper quality. Do you think it's a good bargain (because I'm planning to get one)?? 


#9
Jul2609, 03:24 PM

P: 1,345




#10
Jul2609, 03:31 PM

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P: 712

yeah but it's paperback and the printing would probably be a little bad



#11
Jul2609, 06:04 PM

P: 538




#12
Jul2609, 06:58 PM

P: 424

As for which book is actually the best I believe both can give you an excellent handle of calculus. Personally I find Apostol hard to learn from and his reasoning often seem unsupported in my opinion, but it contains all the material and if you are willing to spend a little extra time deciphering proofs and why they are structured as they are then Apostol can be a good book, and it may actually force you to think a bit more deeply about the material. Spivak is pretty talkative which can be an obstacle to some students who have a hard time extracting rigorous arguments or mathematical heuristics from such text, but personally if I were to relearn calculus I would go with Spivak over Apostol. I don't know how much alibris charges for shipping, but if you want to save 1020$ you may want to take a look at AbeBooks. There they sell for about 3$, but the shipping seems awfully expensive so I don't know if it really is cheaper in total. AbeBooks is usually pretty reliable (just remember to order a new book and not a used one), though I have once received the wrong book (ordered An Introduction to Homological Algebra, but got An Introduction to Harmonic Analysis). 


#13
Jul2609, 07:05 PM

P: 538




#14
Jul2609, 07:07 PM

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P: 712

abebooks is wonderful site, thanks for sharing
They sell volume 1 (international version) for about 3 dollars. Should I trust that? EDIT: nevermind, shipping for 2 (international) books is a whopping 57 dollars!!! 


#15
Jul3009, 03:06 PM

P: 792

Sorry to confuse you more on the issue, but I thought I'd throw another book into the pot (aweful metaphor I admit!). The book by Courant and John Introduction to Calculus and Analysis I found was very good, at the same level as Spivak, but a very nice read, well explained. Spivak, however, is something of an institution, or rather, a religion these days. So there you are, not sure I helped any.



#16
Jul3009, 04:35 PM

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P: 712

The books by Spivak, Apostol, and Courant are pretty much the "big three". You can't go wrong with either one of them.



#17
Jul3009, 05:34 PM

P: 538




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