Hello all, I'm entering my second year of university (Physics/mech engineering major) and am wondering whether it is worthwhile spending money on the textbooks? In my first year, I found there were some subjects where I didn't touch the textbooks - primarily Calculus I and II (Calculus: Early Transcendentals by Anton, Bivis and Davies) and others where I couldn't have managed without the textbook (Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach by Knight). I'll be buying the textbook for International Politics, as most of the material is from the book, however for my three Physics subjects, I'm not so sure. First is Vector Calculus. We don't have any prescribed text, as we're given fairly detailed notes to through the subject. However, I found in Linear Algebra last semester that the notes weren't always detailed enough and I'd like to have a book handy to make sure I understand the material. The two reccomended textbooks are: Vector Calculus, 4th edition by Marsden and Tromba and Calculus of Several Variables, 4th edition by Adams I'm reluctant to get either textbook, because going by reviews from Amazon, the first seems rather average and isn't recommended to someone learning the material for the first time, while I can't find a review of the second book anywhere, and I'm not willing to pay upwards of $150 dollars for it. If anyone has ever encountered either of the books, would you recommend purchasing them? Is a textbook really necessary for maths, seeing as though I'm not majoring in it (that said, I'd like to learn the material and not just be able to regurgitate it for the exam)? I've been wondering if it's a good idea to buy a different textbook on Vector Calculus? I'm sure that most textbooks will cover fairly similar material - for those more experienced than myself, it is smart to rely entirely on an alternate textbook to get you through the course? And if so, could somebody recommend me a good textbook for learning and understanding Vector Calculus? Second subject is Engineering Computation. Seems like a simple subject - basically an introduction to programming (with a focus on mathematics). Not sure if I'll buy the textbook (Moffat, A. (2003). Programming, Problem Solving, and Abstraction with ) as my brother is a computer science student and there's a whole heap of programming books lying in the bookshelf. I think the book is recommended as opposed to prescribed, so I'll wait and see how I go without it. Third subject is Thermal and Classical Physics. I've learnt at both high school and first year physics that I'm unable to learn the materials in lectures and am almost completely reliant on the textbook to get me through. We have two prescribed texts for the subjects: D V Schroeder, An Introduction to Thermal Physics, Addison-Wesley Longman. A P Arye, Introduction to Classical Physics, Allen & Bacon. The first seems to have decent reviews on Amazon and I'll be picking it up. I don't even think the second one exists, as I can't find it anywhere - not even on the university bookshop website.