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It's not there, go to the Web! Hohoha

  1. Aug 24, 2012 #1
    Any idea why some textbooks especially those used in universities make some of their content available through the web, not included in the book? What's the point? I cannot see adding extra less than 100 pages an issue.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 24, 2012 #2
    I'm not sure that I understand your question. However in general I can see a big disadvantage in paper textbooks. They age because science advances. Obviously more in some field than in others and newer and newer editions are required. And if you're not buying the newest edition, you may be learning the wrong things.

    Online textbooks can be adapted as science progresses.

    But I guess that wasn't the answer.
  4. Aug 24, 2012 #3
    Sorry for not wording my question properly. I meant to ask that some chapters/sections of books are not included in the hard copy version, and readers have to go to the book's website to get the missing content. Though the content is listed in the book TOC, it's made available only online.
  5. Aug 24, 2012 #4

    Chi Meson

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    I'm guessing here, but it is true that most textbooks are bigger than they need to be for any single course. By making some chapters available online, the size of the book, and thus it's price and shipping cost are kept lower. I'm guessing that the online chapters could be considered "optional" or "extension" material. Again, it's only a guess.
  6. Aug 24, 2012 #5
    I've got a copy of Modern Physics by Serway, Moses, and Moyer. It comes with a 3.5" floppy with some software on it. You can't follow some of the examples without the software and you can't do some of the problems. I don't have a floppy reader on my computer so I can't use it. I wish the material on that disk were available online.
  7. Aug 24, 2012 #6
    Well makes sense to keep the cost lower than it would be with those extensions. But it's becoming a fashion all authors using it. I could name some books but I don't want to make them look bad...so I will stay general. One book is less than 500 pages yet it contains several chapters which I consider important to be there. The book in the end could be used in advanced courses, by non students as a reference...etc. Nonetheless the books is super expensive at least for its size.
    My guess here the authors, which are professors, want the readers somehow to reach their websites, which are very likely universities' websites...sort of advertisement??? Could be far from truth but I still cannot see how less than 10% of the book size will make the price much higher. It's already high.
    I'm worried here because when knowledge becomes a business then it's in danger. Exactly like with any other product, the quality goes down.
  8. Aug 29, 2012 #7


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    NEXARK SABRENT External USB 1.44 MB 2x Floppy Disk Drive

  9. Aug 30, 2012 #8
    I've a better idea for authors. What about instead of embedding screenshots of a computer software and its script...they could make this stuff available online and have the more related chapters printed on paper. :-) Software changes faster than the core subject of the book especially if it's math or physics related. So lets make more sense of the extremely expensive books.
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