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So today I found out that some of my classmates haven't bought a

  1. Feb 12, 2013 #1
    single textbook.

    Mind=blown. How is this even possible? I rely so heavily on my textbook for learning. How is it even possible to NOT read a textbook and still manage to pass? Is there some sort of secret to learning without a textbook that I'm missing here? I literally rely on the textbook for 100% of my learning. In fact, lectures are almost pointless for me. I just go there to waste time, listen to what the prof has to say and get a nice break from studying.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 12, 2013 #2


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    You sure they didn't procure it by "other means"? I don't know how either. I live and die by my textbooks when it comes to learning.
  4. Feb 12, 2013 #3


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    You can pass without the need to have a textbook. One may write notes during lectures and find it sufficient to achieve the desired goal, which is 'passing' the course. Of course, that isn't the case if you want to excel in the subject, having more than one book is pretty much expected too.
  5. Feb 13, 2013 #4
    They probably pick up another person's textbook "by accident" from time to time. I have seen a few classmates do this and one actually took mine. When he returned it, I knew that he had been using it because it looked so abused lol. Throughout the class I noticed he felt a strange entitlement to it.
  6. Feb 13, 2013 #5
    That's *censor*ed up.
  7. Feb 13, 2013 #6
    I am one of these people. I take in everything that was said and will remember it. Reading is useless for me. People just have different ways of leaning
  8. Feb 13, 2013 #7
    I don't buy textbooks unless I intend to keep the book as a reference, which is very rare. If I absolutely need to know something that isn't in the course notes (and I for some reason can't just derive it myself), then I'll do the obvious thing and just go to a library.
  9. Feb 13, 2013 #8

    m k

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    Language learner proves the routes.

    Like, can read and write but not hear or speak, or vice versa.
  10. Feb 13, 2013 #9


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    You don't have to buy a book to read it, you can borrow it from a library or a friend!
    And yes, it's possible to pass an exam without reading a textbook. I know plenty of people who do that.
  11. Feb 13, 2013 #10
    Not buying textbooks isn't equivalent to not reading one.

    There are numerous free online textbooks and websites which cover a great many things in a lot of depth. My university has access to the MyiLibrary service and a lot of our recommended texts can be viewed in full with unlimited access as long as we're students.

    When it comes to "reading around" the subject, I use the internet, i.e. blogs and twitter for that since books don't normally cover the latest science.
  12. Feb 13, 2013 #11
    My daughter rents her textbooks when she can.
  13. Feb 13, 2013 #12
    A lot of classes will have homework assigned from practice problems in the textbooks. What do you do then?

    Some classes won't go through everything that is in the textbook, like language classes. Like in my Chinese class, you're expected to learn the characters. You can't just listen to the characters and see them once during a lecture and memorize them. And not all of the characters that will be on the test will be covered in class, so your notes won't suffice.

    I've also had a couple of classes that had open book quizzes or tests.

    There's a lot of reasons why not having the textbook is just going to hurt you in a lot of classes.
    I tried that when I forgot my Linear Algebra book at home. The library didn't have any linear algebra books.
  14. Feb 13, 2013 #13
    People use pirated electronic copies a lot.
  15. Feb 13, 2013 #14
    One time in chemistry our professor said at the start of the class that this textbook was so good and everyone *must* have it. Lots of people bought it......and not a single person ever used it that I know of, he never assigned homework from it (that was online) and never made any reference to it in class. Eventually I looked at who wrote it, and his name just happened to be listed as one of the editors. Coincidence? I think not.
  16. Feb 13, 2013 #15
    Is that the library of a university that offers any math course ?

    I am usually very careful when I buy textbooks. Most of the textbooks that were required in my courses were not that useful so now I only buy books that I know I want to have and will be useful later.
  17. Feb 13, 2013 #16
    Tell me about it.
  18. Feb 14, 2013 #17
    That's surprising.

    Does your university perhaps have a separate library for mathematics textbooks/journals?

    My math department had its own library.
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