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Books for Calculus

  1. Dec 22, 2011 #1
    I'm not sure if this should go here, anyway I'm contemplating over what Calculus text book should I buy. Textbooks that are sold locally are somewhat limited to our country so I only have 2 'good' books to choose from. It's either Leithold's or Stewart's, I don't know which one of these are better and I'd really appreciate it if you can give me a good insight about which of them should I choose to buy.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 22, 2011 #2
    It all depends on how rigorous you want it to be. Why can't you buy online?
  4. Dec 23, 2011 #3
    I'm just not very familiar with online buying. Also, it's much convenient to buy books within my area.

    About your question I'd probably prefer something more rigorous between the two, but if the rigor comes with too much complexity where It's probably something useless for a beginner then I'd choose the less complex one.
  5. Dec 23, 2011 #4
    Amazon is always good for buying items online. Check it out.:smile:


    I'm not very familiar with Stewart or Leithold, so I have to ask you: Have you ever taken Calculus before? Is this your first exposure to Calculus?

    Other Introductory Calculus texts include Larson, Thomas, Anton, and Hughes-Hallet.

    If you're looking for rigorous Calculus texts (not introductory), although I don't think you are, then there are:

  6. Dec 23, 2011 #5
    This is not the first time that I encountered Calculus, I'm quite familiar with the techniques and the big picture but I think I'd like something that has good proofs, I seem to absorb the maths better with nice proofs. Of course, something with good problems too.

    I guess I'll be checking out amazon.
  7. Dec 23, 2011 #6


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    I second the suggestion for Spivak, Apostol or Courant.
  8. Dec 23, 2011 #7
    get whatever is on cramster, so you at least have a full set of worked out solutions (for odd problems) to reference when doing practice problems.
  9. Dec 24, 2011 #8
    Try previewing some of the books I already mentioned. Below is a link to the introduction of limits in Spivak. Try reading a few pages to see if you like it. Definitely try to do some of the problems!! The first few are easy, but the latter ones are much more difficult. Don't worry if you can't do any, most people probably couldn't on his/her first try.


    Also, try looking up a preview for Apostol on Google Books.

    Spivak and Apostol are more like an introduction of Real Analysis than Calculus, but they are still very good for Calculus. Apostol starts with integration first rather than differentiation.
    Spivak is only single variable Calculus, and I believe Apostol treats both single- and multi-variable calculus. I can't really help you choose which one is better because it is based on your likes and I have not finished Apostol.

    Since both are heavily proof-based, depending on your knowledge with proofs, I'd suggest How to Prove It: A Structured Approach by Velleman.


    Lastly, I recommend that you take a look at micromass' (PF member) calculus textbook recommendations. Very comprehensive.


    Good Luck!!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
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