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Can anyone reccomend me a good calculus book?

  1. Aug 18, 2011 #1
    I want to teach myself calculus but I am having an issue. I managed to make it past an entire 1000 page precalculus textbook and did most of the problems competently.Then I though I might as well move onto calculus.

    I bought a old used edition of Ron Larson Calculus online cheaply. I managed to make it past the first four chapters of the book until I got stuck in the integration by substitution lesson.

    Now I can do a couple of integration by substitution problems but the issue is that for the ones I cant do I have no way to complete them as I do not have a teacher or know anyone with enough time to help me solve multiple problems.

    And since calculus is cumulative I cant just skip that lesson because all the topics are built upon one another. And now I am frustrated because it seems I cannot teach myself this subject.

    My only hope is that someone can recommend me a good enough calculus book for self study and where I do not need any outside sources for help. Something with many example and the problems that are based upon the examples.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2011 #2
    This should be posted in textbook requests, but I'm not an admin so I don't care =]

    I would suggest getting a solutions manual for the book. I am not sure if the book has a published solutions manual; I am not familiar with it. However, there is a good chance that cramster.com will have a good number of solutions worked out for free (you have to register, but that's it...check it out, regardless if a solutions manual exists).

    The good news is that, because calculus is so wide-spread, you will likely be able to find everything you need on the net. MIT's open coursware video lectures are good (there are resources on their website too, see below).

    However, I would first and foremost recommend a solutions manual (or cramster as a possible free alternative). I am not sure what your moral stance on downloading things illegally is, but if there is not a solutions manual that you can buy for your specific textbook, I would (personally) just download another text in e-book form along with the solutions manual for this book, and work similar problems in that text. If you don't frequently download things, and don't have a website that you can unwaveringly trust, I would not recommend you take this approach.

    MIT OCW resources for calculus:

    complete course -- MIT's webpage:


    youtube lecture videos (this link is to the first lecture):


    These resources are great, but, again, nothing compares to a teacher/a good solutions manual for when you are stuck on a problem. I would stress you to look into the book's solutions manual.

    edit: I just did a quick google search, and it looks like there IS a solutions manual for the book.


    I would find the ISBN for the manual which corresponds to your edition, and move forward form there (ebay/amazon/wherever is cheapest).
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  4. Aug 18, 2011 #3
    Why not make a post with the integrals that are bothering you?? I'm sure we can help!
    Integrals are often a matter of knowing which tricks to use at which time. So if you've seen the trick once, you can often do it again. So if you ask us what you're having trouble with, then we can show you the trick!
  5. Aug 18, 2011 #4


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    heres one for $1.

    Calculus and analytic geometry (ISBN: 0201162903 / 0-201-16290-3)
    George Brinton Thomas
    Bookseller: MotorCityBooks.com
    (Riverview, MI, U.S.A.)

    Bookseller Rating:
    Quantity Available: 1
    Book Description: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co, 1984. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Minimal damage to cover and binding. Pages show light use. Bookseller Inventory # G0201162903I3N00

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    Price: US$ 1.00
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  6. Aug 19, 2011 #5
    Try the Calculus for Dummies or Idiots. They are helpful in explaining the formulas and breaking them down for understanding.
  7. Aug 19, 2011 #6
    Paul's Notes (online) or an old edition of Boyce and DePrima.
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