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What's a good calculus textbook?

  1. Aug 5, 2009 #1
    What's a good calculus textbook? Especially for self study. I've narrowed things down to James Stewart's Calculus and Larson's Calculus with Analytic Geometry.

    Does anyone know if Michael Spivak's Calculus is only single variable, or does it include multivariable?
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  3. Aug 5, 2009 #2


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    Michael Spivak's Calculus is an advanced book, more of an introduction to analysis textbook.

    I'm currently using Larson's Calculus for my AP Calculus class, and it's not bad. If it boils down to Stewart vs. Larson, I'll go with Larson.
  4. Aug 5, 2009 #3


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    Spivak's Calculus covers only single variable calculus (but indeed at a higher, more theoretical level than a typical introduction).
  5. Aug 5, 2009 #4
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. Aug 5, 2009 #5
    Are you using Larson's Calculus with Analytic Geometry?

    Anyways, how is Spivak's and Courant's texts compared to Larson or Stewart?
  7. Aug 5, 2009 #6


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    Yes I am.

    They're not even comparable. Larson and Stewart are general calculus books, aimed to teach the techniques and the applications of calculus.

    Meanwhile, Spivak's and Courant's texts take it a step further - they delve into the theory side of things.

    If you're just beginning to learn calculus, don't bother with Spivak's and Courant's just yet.
  8. Aug 5, 2009 #7


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    If by "Larson", you mean the Larson & Hostetler book on Calculus with Analytic Geometry, this is a good book. The weak topics are the epsilon-delta limit proofs and the study on continuity; otherwise should be a good book. Reasonable to learn from, for a beginner who wants to have concept understanding and learn to apply Calculus.
  9. Aug 6, 2009 #8
    Are the epsilon-delta proofs just generally weak in most calculus books? I though Thomas' Early Transcendentals didn't do so well explaining them.
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