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How good is to study from 3 Books at the same time?

  1. Aug 10, 2007 #1
    In calculus, how good is to study from 2 or 3 Books at the same time? This is, for instance, study concepts and excercises based on the first (Stewart) and use the othes (Thomas and Edwards&Penney) for excercises.

    Is this a waste of time? Should I use only one?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 10, 2007 #2
    From what I have heard Stewart is up there with Penny...
    But why don't you look at concepts from both books and work problems from both books if needed?
    Work through the proofs though.
  4. Aug 10, 2007 #3
    for all my math and science classes, i use 2 books ... for reading and exercises, but 3 is overkill ... i think you'll get exhausted. get the book you truly want to learn from and always have the book that your assigned.
  5. Aug 11, 2007 #4
    In regards to learning and understanding, I would stick with the book that your professor teaches you from. More than likely the book and he "speak" the same language, so the concepts you read about will fit in with what he teaches you in class. However, I like keeping an extra book around to use for its practice problems because different books tend to throw differently worded problems at you. Therefore, you will be less likely to memorize a style of problem phrasing and be more likely to learn the principles behind solving that problem. One notable exception to this is the Feynman Lectures. I use those books for learning, understanding, and problem solving, but only because they teach with a clarity and phrasing that can compliment any other book's or professor's way of teaching.
  6. Aug 11, 2007 #5


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    instead of two books which are virtually identical, like stewarta nd edwards penney, wny not two different books, like edwards penney, and courant?

    when i am teaching a hard course like galois theory, or abstract algebra in general i may use 10-15 books for my own reference, as usually no one book covers all topics equally well.
  7. Aug 13, 2007 #6


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    It is always an excellent idea to study from multiple books at once. The differences in perspective and pedagogy can be enormous, and you will benefit greatly from them.

    - Warren
  8. Aug 13, 2007 #7


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    here is a trivial little bonus i got from using extra books in my reals course as a senior. one of those books had a theorem i learned that our prof did not teach, but he put it on our final. and i nailed it.
  9. Aug 13, 2007 #8
    Haha. :rofl:
  10. Jul 5, 2011 #9
    Would you recommend focusing on one book and using the others as supplements or using each book independently (i.e. reading each one from cover to cover)?

    I am studying single variable calculus from: Calculus Volume I, Apostol; Calculus, Spivak; and Differential and Integral Calculus Volume I, Courant.

    For classical mechanics I have been using: The Feynman Lectures on Physics Volume I, Feynman; An Introduction to Mechanics, Kleppner; Newtonian Mechanics, French; and The Mechanical Universe (Advanced Edition), Frautschi.

    I would like to know how to study from these most efficiently. Each is excellent, in my opinion, in a different way. Currently I am going through each independently, but I don't know if this is the best way.

    Forrest T.
  11. Jul 5, 2011 #10
    If I supplement one book on each topic with the others, which should it be. Because my focus is physics, I was thinking Differential and Integral Calculus Volume I (due to the physics applications) and An Introduction to Mechanics (the most advanced mechanics book), but what does everyone else think? I appreciate the advice.

    Forrest T.
  12. Jul 6, 2011 #11
    What should I do if the books differ in organization? E.g. in Apostol, the integral comes before the derivative, while vice-versa in Spivak.
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