Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Why do books cost so much

  1. Aug 29, 2006 #1
    Man, I just bought my books for school and it came out to $619.00

    :cry: :cry: :cry: I could have bought a model airplane with that much money! :cry: :cry: :cry:

    http://www.bookstation.net/catalog/images/0130489875.jpg [Broken]



    http://g.bookpool.com/covers/707/0139239707_500.gif [Broken]

    http://bilder3.booxtra.de/produkte/000000164/000000164454n.jpg [Broken]

    Someone give me a discount!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 29, 2006 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The authors gotsta get paid. (And the editors.. and publishers.. and printers.. and distributors.. and warehouse managers.. and forklift operators.. and bookstore employees.. and other random middle-men who take a cut for doing practically nothing..) Ugh. Sorry they're so expensive.

    - Warren
  4. Aug 29, 2006 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    What used to drive me nuts was that the smaller the book was, the more expensive it got! But, then again, that's because those were usually more specialized for upper level classes, so they didn't sell as many copies to make their profit on bulk sales as they do in the introductory courses.
  5. Aug 29, 2006 #4
    Is the size of each picture proportional to the amount of money you spent on the book? :biggrin:
  6. Aug 29, 2006 #5
    Wow, thats alot of money. Here's how i would pay for my book:
    I would buy my book online in the SUMMER (Amazon, ebay.com, half.com) when the DEMANDS ARE LOW. Thats when they're cheap. I would also choose paperback or the international edition so it would be even cheaper. I would never buy from the bookstore unless it's absolutely neccessary.

    And if you wanna sell the books later, sell them when the DEMANDS ARE HIGH (when schools begin to start nationwide). If you do this correctly you would actually make a profit like me :).
  7. Aug 29, 2006 #6

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    We need to sell books as .pdf files.

    How long will this madness continue??? :cry: :cry: :cry:


    I sure do prefer getting Scientific American as a .pdf.
  8. Aug 29, 2006 #7
    The teachers do not put out the book list until just before class starts. And you do not sell back your engineering books...thats a really bad idea.
  9. Aug 29, 2006 #8


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    What I love is how many popular textbooks have new editions coming out almost every year, with hardly any changes except a few new problems or an extra chapter. I'm convinced that they only do this to kill the used-book market and make sure every student has to pay full list price.

    - Warren
  10. Aug 29, 2006 #9
    yeah, i've had a few professors laugh about the yearly new additions. In general they were fine with people using old versions and even had the bookstore continue selling them.
  11. Aug 29, 2006 #10
    I only needed to buy 3 books and it cost me 350 bucks.....can't wait till next semester when I need 4 new ones....ughh.
  12. Aug 29, 2006 #11
    Where I live, you can get them all for $40.9899 at the current rate, if only content is of prime importance.
  13. Aug 29, 2006 #12
    Do you live in Banladesh? My friend had one (int edition). Its printed on used toilet paper. :rofl:
  14. Aug 29, 2006 #13
    Close enough. :tongue2:
  15. Aug 29, 2006 #14
    Cyrus,,why do you need to buy all the books....i guess your library should have the facility to get them issued for sufficient period!
  16. Aug 29, 2006 #15
    No. The library does not carry course books, you have to buy them.

    I go to Rip-you-off University. Your diploma is a receipt.
  17. Aug 29, 2006 #16
    i really feel a bit lucky..because in my past 2 years i never bought a book and till now i haven't figured a book recommended in pf which i could not find in my library..
  18. Aug 29, 2006 #17
    What are you going to do when you get a job, run to your schools library? You have to buy them at some point. They are a necessity.
  19. Aug 29, 2006 #18


    User Avatar

    I justify the cost of books with the notion that they are not just to be used for the course, but as reference texts in whatever my future endeavours may be.
  20. Aug 29, 2006 #19


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    What do you do when someone else is using the library's copy of the book? I knew one student who did that because she was too poor to afford to buy books, but she ended up also doing very poorly in her classes, because she couldn't always get the books when she needed them because someone else would check them out or recall them when she had them checked out (after students had a book for 2 weeks, someone could recall them so they could check it out too, so you couldn't renew it indefinitely), or some course texts were kept on reserve, so they could only be used in the library to ensure they were always available, but then you can only study during hours you can get to the library.

    When I was a student, I bought all my books new, mostly because I learned after the first year that I couldn't STAND having someone else's highlighting or notes distracting me in a used copy, and really, the used copies weren't that much cheaper to really make it worth it, especially for upper level courses where you want to keep the book as a reference long after you take the course.

    But, just wait until you're in grad school, and instead of buying text books, you find you're forever shelling out the money for photocopying or printing costs for all the journal articles you'll need! :surprised It was easy to spend $20 to $50 a week in photocopying, in addition to those courses that still required textbooks.
  21. Aug 29, 2006 #20
    Yep, same here. I NEVER write in my books EVER. Thats what pen and paper are for.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook