Which Intro Book is Best For Chemistry?

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In summary: There are no other prerequisites for Organic and Biochemistry, but you may want to consider taking a College Algebra course.
  • #1
CuriousBanker
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Hello all,

I recently received a job doing pharmaceutical sales. So I need to brush up on some of chemistry (took it 7 years ago, don't remember much). My girlfriend is a chemist so I can use her for help if I get stuck on something I don't get, but besides that, what is the best intro book to use? I am reteaching myself calculus now, so by the time I get to the chem book I will know calculus, but don't remember anything from physics or calculus unfortunately, so treat it as something a high schooler could self teach with. I bought Pauling's "general chemistry" for $10, but have heard some say it is not the best intro book. I need something that is very intuitive...that can kind of help me get "why" what the stuff means/is, not something that can help me pass a test (as I will not be tested) or just rigorously help me equate things. Now, I am also not an idiot and don't need to be fully babied either. Do you think with no prior knowledge, I can use Paulings book and maybe suppliment it with khanacademy and my girlfriend, or should I get something like chem for dummies and read that before pauling? i also have Introductory chemistry: concepts and crtiical thinking by corwin.
 
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By the way I tried to regiter for chemical forums and post this there, but the "verification" letters are seriously impossible to read. I have 20/10 vision and have never once had a problem with these things. Embarassing but funny
 
  • #3
Tough to say without more info. You will likely get enough from a decent Undergrad Gen Chem text. I used Brown, LeMay et al Chemistry the Central Science.

You don't need calculus unless you really need/want to get into the nitty gritty derivations of stuff.

You also may want to look into Organic (atleast the nomenclature) and Biochem. These will likely be more relevant to your job.

More information would be helpful, as many things you can probably learn with free online materials. As you said, you don't need to solve exam problems, just get comfortable with some concepts. Therefore you need not get crazy about learning Chemistry in a rigorous and structured way.
 
  • #4
Well I am looking for something more than just "covalent bonds are like two friends sharing lunch with each other" and a little less than a book that starts talking about QM on page 5...you know what I mean? I plan on teaching myself organic chem and biochem, but my girlfriend already has the textbooks for those that she likes she says I can use. She doesn't have an intro book though. I was wondering if the Pauling book would be too tough for somebody who knows essentially NOTHING about chemistry. As for the calculus, I know I don't need it really, but I just want to relearn it (I only took calc 1 in college and I forgot it all). I also run a small hedge fund with a partner and I want to get into derivatives a lot more than I currently can handle, so I also plan on teaching myself different maths as well. What other prereqs are there for orgo and biochem? Besides genchem...I am guessing physics 1 and 2?
 
  • #5


I would recommend using a combination of resources to brush up on your chemistry knowledge. While Pauling's "General Chemistry" is a classic text, it may not be the most intuitive for someone without prior knowledge. I would suggest supplementing it with resources like Khan Academy and your girlfriend's help, as well as possibly using a more beginner-friendly book like "Chemistry for Dummies" or "Introductory Chemistry: Concepts and Critical Thinking" by Corwin. It's important to find a resource that not only helps you understand the material, but also provides context and explanations for the "why" behind the concepts. Good luck with your studies!
 

Related to Which Intro Book is Best For Chemistry?

1. What are the most important factors to consider when choosing an introductory chemistry book?

The most important factors to consider when choosing an introductory chemistry book are the level of detail and complexity, the author's writing style and approach, the inclusion of practice problems and exercises, the availability of supplemental resources, and the relevance to your specific course or curriculum.

2. What are some highly recommended introductory chemistry books?

Some highly recommended introductory chemistry books include "Chemistry: The Central Science" by Brown, LeMay, and Bursten, "Chemistry" by Zumdahl and Zumdahl, "Introductory Chemistry: A Foundation" by Tro, and "Chemistry: A Molecular Approach" by Nivaldo J. Tro.

3. Are there any online resources to help me choose the best introductory chemistry book?

Yes, there are several online resources that can help you choose the best introductory chemistry book. These include book review websites such as Goodreads and Amazon, as well as online forums and discussion boards where students and educators share their recommendations and experiences with different chemistry textbooks.

4. Should I choose a textbook based on its price?

While price is definitely a factor to consider, it should not be the sole determining factor when choosing an introductory chemistry book. It is important to also consider the content, organization, and quality of the book to ensure that it will effectively meet your learning needs.

5. Can I use an older edition of an introductory chemistry book?

Using an older edition of an introductory chemistry book is not recommended, as the content and organization of the book may have been updated in newer editions. However, if you are on a tight budget, you can use an older edition as long as you also have access to the most recent edition for any updated information or practice problems.

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