Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Book Buyin' Blues

I woke up this morning feeling good. I had a little fun last night and I was looking forward to my first classless Thursday of the semester. In the future I plan on spending some at Cannon Mountain to take advantage of their 2 for 1 lift tickets, but not today. I had some errands to take care of, like getting my books. I had originally planned to order all my books ahead of time on amazon or or that new site koofers, but I wasn't able to get book lists for any of my classes. No worries I thought, I'll order them as soon as I find out what I need. Well that day didn't come until yesterday (thanks professors) and not only that but I have assigned readings in three classes for Friday and Monday so there was no way I could order online. So I did what I had to and trekked over to the MUB store and DBE. I did my best to price check ahead of time but I still spent over $270, not cool for an unemployed college student. I know that really isn't too bad, I know kids who spend over $200 on just one book. And over $500 a semester. Damn! The problem I have is that out of the 6 books I needed, only one was used. The rest were brand-fucking-new. Why do professors feel the need to assign the latest edition every fucking semester? Then they always give us that "I picked this book because it is a little cheaper" bullshit.  Is there really a difference between the the 12th and 13th edition of The United States since 1945? It's a fucking modern history book! It's not like it's ancient history and there were new discoveries and it's not like the newer edition ends with Obama's first year or anything, it ends with Bush. Like, fuck, I could find everything in that book online. I think it is safe to say that I got the book buyin' blues. The only thing that can brighten my spirits is the fact that I got a flask just waiting to be opened up... It'll be 12 in about ten minutes... excellent.

Overall I am very excited for this semester, I'm finally taking some real challenging courses that I actually want to be in. Yesterday my history professor said that "wikipedia is garbage." I almost laughed out loud. Wikipedia is one of the best research tools if you are smart about using it. Almost every page on Wikipedia lists a bibliography, sources, related readings and external links at the bottom of the page which are great for further research. A lot of times the bibliography will include the ISBN numbers for each book. I have found those links more helpful than using JStore or one of the blackboard library databases. Using info off wikipedia can be risky (although it scored to be equally accurate as the Britannica encyclopedia in a blind study) but using wikipedia for sources is very helpful. Give it a shot on your next research assignment.

Quick side note, when did UNH start getting ESPN-U, channel 54? We definitely didn't get it last year because I remember not being able to watch the NCAA tournament hockey game verse BU that ESPN-U was broadcasting. Have we had it all year or is this new since break? Or am I just a moron?

Stay classy, not UMassy.


  1. My total for this semester is about $670, there is no need for 2010 editions and mandatory course software disks that can only be obtained through new book bundles and not purchased seperately for those who want to save money on used books... This semester's prices are outrageous

  2. I hate sounding like a conspiricay theorist, but the simple fact is that the college textbook industry is reliant on networks of profs who required their students to buy the books that their colleagues (and they themselves) have written, edited, and contributed to (read: will get a royalty off $$$). There is no royalty for a used book, only new editions, so you connect the dots.

  3. 1-holy crap, $670 is rough... And yeah, they should sell the CD's/DVD's/Discs separate.

    2-I always have professors who use their friends books and it makes me so mad, because it's not the best material.