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Lupin Tonks Moon
Posted on Monday 5 November 2007 at 8:15 pm

Textbook dilemna - HELP Please!

When trying to select a textbook for my class that I will soon be teaching, I rather arbitrarily picked a number and decided I wouldn't assign any textbook that cost more than that amount. My main rational was that I didn't want the students to hate me before they ever got to the classroom because of how much they had to spend at the book store.

I selected a textbook that wasn't too expensive, but I can't just have one textbook. I need the main textbook plus supplementary readings. I could find online materials. The two problems I have with this are that I would have to find all the readings and I just don't have the expertise in this field or the time and the students would then have to print the materials at their own cost throughout the semester (or read it online which poses problems for looking at text during class discussions). So I want to assign a supplementary reader. If I do this, they won't ever have to worry about printing additional readings or whatever. So I found a supplementary reader that I really like. I planned out a rough syllabus based on using these two books while at the bookstore today. I then got home and looked up the cost of the supplementary reader. It is more than I ever would have guessed. The cost of both books combined is now outside my initial arbitrary maximum and I'm worried.

I really like this book and I don't know what to do. If I change, all the work I did today will be wasted and I doubt I will find anything I like even half as much. If I don't change, the poor students will end up spending more money than I would prefer and they might hate me for it. Since I arbitrarily set my earlier maximum, I want to see what you guys think. Without knowing what my books cost, I want your opinions on what you think would be too much to spend on textbooks for a class.

Poll #1083584 Textbook Question

If you were taking a required undergrad entry level course, how much would you consider to be too much to pay for two textbooks for the semester?

Anything over $50 is too much.
Anything over $60 is too much.
Anything over $70 is too much.
Anything over $80 is too much.
Anything over $90 is too much.
Anything over $100 is too much.
Anything over $110 is too much.
Anything over $120 is too much.
Anything over $130 is too much.
Anything over $140 is too much.


train_lindz at 1:42 am on 06 November 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Depends... what is the subject?
bratty_jedi at 1:48 am on 06 November 2007 (UTC) (Link)
It is the second half of the US History survey so American History 1877 to the present.
godricgal at 1:45 am on 06 November 2007 (UTC) (Link)
My choice is a rough converstion from pounds of what I would be willing to pay for a primary book plus what I could consider reasonable for a secondary one, which is 2:1.
bratty_jedi at 1:59 am on 06 November 2007 (UTC) (Link)
That makes sense to me. Thanks for your help!

P.S. Did you have a nice Bonfire Night?
godricgal at 2:06 am on 06 November 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Cool. I know things tend to be more expensive here, but all my text books are written by Americans and the prices seem to be similar.

I've not done anything for Guy Fawkes in years, though I keep meaning to. I'm really hoping that tonight was the last of it, though, since people have been celebrating all weekend and there's been a constant stream of bangs and whizzes since sundown on Thursday night.
bratty_jedi at 1:38 pm on 06 November 2007 (UTC) (Link)
One of my (American) friends on Facebook wrote a mini essay all about why Guy Fawkes is so terribly important and why we should all remember it.

I saw somebody complaining online because they got up Monday morning and discovered a note in their door from a neighbor that said something about "We just brought our new baby home from the hospital. I'm sure you realize loud noises would disturb the baby so please refrain from setting off any firecrackers or any noisemakers at your house and please don't go to the community fireworks display so there won't be any audience and they won't do it." I don't understand how people can be that self-centered and how they can arrive at the conclusion that their little note was a good idea.
Ms. J to the Diva
jadeddiva at 2:05 am on 06 November 2007 (UTC) (Link)
I read the question wrong - it's been a long day - so to clarify my answer ($60) as someone whose taken and graded for intro to US survey courses...$60ish for the textbook, $20+ish for the supplementary, with the belief that it's entirely possible to resell them for their value either to the bookstore or half.com

Are you planning on making sure the library has a copy of each on reserve?
bratty_jedi at 2:52 am on 06 November 2007 (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure about having the book on reserve. I'd like to, but our library gets testy about ordering textbooks. The people in charge don't seem to think textbooks are real books worthy of being kept in a library.
cuteej4 at 2:44 am on 06 November 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Cheapestbookprice.com is a good place to look. It compares websites. Seriously, I rarely went over 100 when I bought books but if you can save even more than I totally would.
bratty_jedi at 1:32 pm on 06 November 2007 (UTC) (Link)
You rarely went over $100 buying online?

Did you get new or used?
What's Taters, Precious?
mrstater at 4:07 am on 06 November 2007 (UTC) (Link)
I'm answering that as an English major who A) never had to buy expensive texts for English since they were mostly novels and B) was pissed off when professors assigned expensive books to non-majors.
bratty_jedi at 1:16 pm on 06 November 2007 (UTC) (Link)
You're the type of student who worries me.
What's Taters, Precious?
mrstater at 1:31 pm on 06 November 2007 (UTC) (Link)
Will you mostly have that type of student?
bratty_jedi at 1:32 pm on 06 November 2007 (UTC) (Link)
I have absolutely no idea.

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