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Textbook Ranking

  1. May 28, 2014 #1
    Something that I would love to see on here is a ranking of textbooks as rated by users, e.g. best quantum mechanics textbooks, best introductory physics textbooks, etc. Although there are plenty of reviews, an actual numbered ranking would be both interesting and useful.

    There is also a nifty site called The Top Tens where you can create lists that people vote on (note that I do not own nor am I affiliated with the site) that I have a few textbook ranking lists on. Perhaps a sticky could be made with links to lists on The Top Tens (or some other list-making site)?


  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2014 #2
    I think it is quite problematic to do something like that. Different textbooks are suitable for different purposes. For example, you really can't compare Zettili with Ballentine, they are written for different audiences.
    Furthermore, a textbook is something very personal. What one person likes won't necessarily be what another person likes. So I'm not sure how useful such a ranking will be for somebody actually searching for a book.
  4. May 28, 2014 #3
    Of course rankings shouldn't be the only source of information, but I have found (from my experience) that they do help a good amount, specifically with the amount of attention I give the items I'm looking for. If a large group of physicists and physics majors and what-have-you are listing book x as their favorite book in field y, I'll certainly put more time into researching that book than less popular books (I, and I assume most people, already do this with respect to how often and highly a book is recommended). Plus I find rankings to be sort of fun. Knowing how a Dover math book ranks against a Dover physics book probably won't help me in making a purchasing decision, but I am a big fan of Dover and enjoy getting to know about which books of their's people seem to enjoy.
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