How to Choose Textbooks

textbook buying fairChoosing the right textbooks for courses is not an easy task. Depending on the instructors’ and students’ level of reliance on a reference material to acquire needed content, the wrong choice of textbook can confound the learning process, waste class time, pauperize learners, skew information, or even sabotage instructional goals.

A well-seasoned professor or academic supervisor can attest that choosing the right book is not that simple. There is a need to look at several published materials that can possibly serve the purpose of effective instruction and learning. Anyone who is selecting books for courses must aim to match those materials with the instructor, the course, and the students.

Matching with instructor

What is the instructor supposed or intend to do with the book? Will the material fit with his style of teaching? The ‘sage on the stage’ or traditional lecturing style has become passé today. There is a need for more enlightened and innovative instructional methods. It will not hurt to choose textbooks that will be slightly divergent to allow students to logically question their own learning and fill in any gap without losing motivation to learn.

The book should cover everything that has to be covered in class. This way, the instructor can rest assured that even if a student misses a session, he will still easily catch up on lessons. Most of all, in this regard, the reference material should teach. It should divide important content into smaller and more manageable chunks for easier assimilation.

Matching with course

When choosing a textbook for a course, the succeeding and related undergraduate and graduate courses should be considered. If the course is on the introductory level, a core book will be more useful. Thought-provoking and more advanced books can be saved for the second-tier or higher courses.

Fortunately, publishers do their own research to determine the right treatment and mix of their books’ content. It is safe to check out recommendations directly from them. Thus, it is noticeable that almost all textbooks are in proper sequence and scope to facilitate better teaching and learning of courses.

Matching with students

Why are students taking the course? This question should serve as an effective guide to textbook selection. If they are just forced to take the subject, they should get standard and foundational knowledge from the material. If the course is preparatory for practice, the book must focus on theory into mechanics, practice, or application.

A more realistic assessment of abilities and knowledge level of students should be done for proper selection of textbooks. Proximal development should not be overlooked. The difficulty and readability level of books should always be looked at.

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Tips in Selling Second-Hand Textbooks

opened textbookSecond-hand textbooks are becoming so popular nowadays. First of all, they are a lot cheaper than buying new copies. Second, you can still resell them after the semester. Third, why buy a new book when you only need it for a semester?

Because of this, there is now an entire market for secondhand books – students who want to sell textbooks they’ve finished using, and also students who want to buy them for their own classes. These books can now be found both in your neighborhood bookstore and in websites selling books.

Students like you who want to make extra money and have a stack of used old textbooks in their apartment should definitely decide to sell them instead. From being an eyesore and an added clutter, they can be converted to cash. If you are looking to sell textbooks, here are very easy tips you can follow:

  1. Look at the condition of your books – All bookstores have standards when it comes to buying back used textbooks. Best to check with the neighborhood bookstore or the website regarding what damages are acceptable. By doing your own check, then you can avoid your books being rejected from buyback.
  2. Consider selling directly to new students – If you have friends or know of students taking the courses you already finished, offer your books directly. This is a good way to sell books that may be a bit battered and unfit for bookstores. Also, they might benefit from some of your notes on the books.
  3. Sell textbooks online – Amazon allows you to post your book on their site to be sold, there are also other websites where you can sell them online. Make sure you post important information on the book – ISBN number, edition and condition.
  4. Go to online bookstores – If you cannot be bothered with posting your own book online, arranging for shipping and collecting payment from buyers, you can just go to online bookstores who are looking for used textbooks to buy. These sites will then sell it to other students looking to buy used books instead of new ones. Online stores need the ISBN number of your books and will require you to ship them to their location to be assessed and priced.
  5. Sell textbooks to your neighborhood bookstore – Perhaps the quickest way is to sell to the campus bookstore, or any neighborhood bookstore looking to buy used books. Just make sure to check first whether they will buy the titles you have, to avoid carrying your books for nothing.

There is no shame now if you carry a secondhand textbook – after all, books do eventually get used and worn. Besides, secondhand books still have the same content and are just as good as new ones. So, sell your secondhand books after the semester ends – and help another student save money on books!

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Is Renting College Textbooks for You

lady reading sexuality textbookRenting college textbooks are offering cheaper books for students who do not want to buy new textbooks. But this option is not for everyone – especially for students who are not careful with books.

Students are faced with many different options when it comes to college textbooks: unlike in the past, wherein students have no other choice but to buy brand-new, expensive textbooks, students can now buy used one, rent college textbooks for the semester and even download eTextbooks. Although there are cheaper options available for students, you still need to think about the best option that suits you and your needs. For example, some students are still not comfortable reading digital books, therefore eTextbooks are not the right choice for you.

Some students want to know whether to rent college textbooks is the best choice for them. Here are some guide questions to help you figure out if this option is for you:

  1. Are the books you are looking for only needed for a certain amount of time? If yes, then renting is a good choice – you need to know the exact amount of time you are renting the book to save money. If you extend, then you pay additional. This is also a great option if you know for sure that you will no longer need the book again, good for those general subjects or those that are unrelated to future courses.
  2. Do you have the patience to buy and sell textbooks? If yes, you might find that buying new textbooks and selling them at the end of the semester is a cheaper option for you. If you do not like the hassle, then just rent college textbooks instead of having to find someone to buy your old books.
  3. Are you good at keeping books in mint condition? Take note that when you rent books, you need to take great care of them in order to not incur any fees for damages to the book. Then this will end up to not be cheaper for you anymore.
  4. Do you like marking or writing on your books? If yes, then you might be better off with your own book. If you are renting books, you need to know what you can and cannot do – some bookstores allow books that are highlighted, but no writings. If you do not follow the guidelines, you might be charged for damage to books.

In short, these questions help you understand what’s involved when you rent college textbooks. Renting is not for everyone, in fact, there is that fine print – if you do not return the books in the exact date as agreed upon and not in mint condition, you will be shocked by the hidden costs that comes along with renting.

Get in touch with us for more information about renting your textbooks for college on the web today.

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