Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Textbook season is here

Classes start two weeks from tomorrow.  Many Jenkins MBA students are starting to plan their textbook purchases; new students should expect sticker shock. 

Today's NYT has an article that provides information on how to reduce textbook expenses.  One thing students should keep in mind: a brand new text can usually be sold back to the campus bookstore for 50% of its value at the end of the semester.  Many of the alternatives touted by NYT such as eTexts and Rent-a-text cost -- guess what? -- 50% of the price of the new text which is more or less equal to the publisher's margin on the traditional new text. 

One thing the article does not mention: buying earlier used editions of the assigned text.  I have assigned the 7th edition of Pindyck and Rubenfeld's Microeconomics for my section of MBA 505.  The core material is unchanged from the 6th, 5th, 4th ... editions.  You may ask why do the editions change so often?  Simple answer: it limits the supply of used copies.   Overseas editions are yet another option.

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