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Where to download text books?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by NorCal, May 10, 2010.

  1. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    Oh definitely! But he's asking for "Siegel's Constitutional Law: Essay and Multiple-Choice Questions and Answers," which I doubt is the *text* the professor is using. Anyways, I'd say skimping on stuff like textbooks is really a penny-wise, pound-foolish kind of approach.
    Fair enough.
    Do you even know any law students? No one downloads textbooks and supplements, at least not where I am at.

    I think law textbooks are kind of sui generis, in that many of them consist largely of excerpts from case opinions, interspersed with varying levels of commentary, analysis, and explication. As you or somebody else pointed out, the actual cases (which usually are the most important part) can easily be accessed and read elsewhere. This is a big difference from textbooks in many other fields, which often are "written" from start to finish.
     
  2. NorCal

    NorCal Senior member

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    Do you even know any law students? No one downloads textbooks and supplements, at least not where I am at.

    Or they just don't tell you. I got the idea from the various law blogs and other students that had texts they were sharing.

    Oh, and get of your high horse cock monkey, I've read the fucking cases and I have (bought and paid for) several supplements (secondhand I might add, meaning that the publisher never saw a dime of that money. It would have been better if they had an e-version available for a limited download at my convenience. That way they would have made some money and I would have had what I needed, when I needed it) I wanted to take a look at this particular book, realized this late in the game, and only really needed it for a few days. No book stores even carry it and ordering it online would take too long.

    Now go back to feeling self righteous.
     
  3. bluemagic

    bluemagic Senior member

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    I'm not self righteous. I don't even buy any supplements at all. Some people get As without ever buying the textbook or any supplements. All you really need is a good outline.
     
  4. bluemagic

    bluemagic Senior member

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    Anyways, neither of us should be on the forum right now. Back to studying! Good luck!
     
  5. Hombre Secreto

    Hombre Secreto Senior member

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    Do you even know any law students? No one downloads textbooks and supplements, at least not where I am at.
    Why would they download something that isn't even available?
     
  6. Reggs

    Reggs Senior member

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    watches and computers are immorally marked up as well, so why not steal them?
    let not touch the huge mark up on most of the clothes people like here.


    Because someone somewhere is losing inventory when you steal those. Your arm isn't twisted into buying any of those things with no substitutions to speak of either.
     
  7. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    Because someone somewhere is losing inventory when you steal those. Your arm isn't twisted into buying any of those things with no substitutions to speak of either.

    Exactly. It's the difference between theft and copyright infringement, and why the music and movie industry piss people off. In theft, a physical copy is removed and is no longer usable by whom the item is taken from. There is actual provable loss. In copyright infringement, a copy is made and nothing is taken from anybody, and the producer may or may not lose a sale, but nothing else.

    Big difference.


    And yes, textbooks are largely a scam. That's one of those common knowledge things. Law books at least have to be kept up to date, and there's a valid reason for the new editions, but try engineering books or math. Calculus and statics don't tend to change a whole lot, but a new edition comes out every two years or so, with new digital photos that only serve to look cool and the problem set numbers changed. Professors hate it too, but they can't require old editions because they can't guarantee availability, even though many would.

    I honestly would have few ethical qualms about coping textbooks. The publishers know that people are forced to buy them, and jack up the price accordingly.
     
  8. scarphe

    scarphe Senior member

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    Because someone somewhere is losing inventory when you steal those. Your arm isn't twisted into buying any of those things with no substitutions to speak of either.

    a person arm is not not twisted into buying books for education either one can try to pass the course with out them or simply leave the uni/ school, peeople are nto forced into the schools are they?

    true on the first but this really a technical point. you can buy book a or disc c from company x, or you can download the same it is true that compaany x still has the inventory, but what is the point, you might as well take the inventory as well since he already lost the money invested in it, by you downloading it.
    either way you cheat the system for your own greed and are just trying to justify your misdeeds.
     
  9. Dedalus

    Dedalus Senior member

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    I am just a lowly editor on the textbook totem pole, but for the texts that we publish, a great deal of work from many people goes into publishing a book. The revision cycles for many of the major books at my company is 4 years, which is infrequent enough to warrant a revision in the medical field. The books with annual revisions usually require it due to new medical codes / procedures / dosage / etc. Believe me, for the amount of work and the cost that goes into publishing a new edition, it is not worth pursuing a new edition unless content requires one, if you compare the sales of existing titles with new editions. We have books that sell quite well that haven't been updated for several years.

    What the company tells us is that to view it as paying for a book is flawed. You could fit all the medical knowledge in our textbooks in a few thick volumes, of relatively worthless ink in tiny print on thin bible paper. What people are really paying for is for people to arrange the content and knowledge for you in a digestible manner, in a way that is relevant to a given audience.

    I can't defend math textbooks, however.
     
  10. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Senior member

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    ^I'm interested in knowing how much of the textbook price goes to printing and shipping/handling. And also the sales figures for a "typical" text. I presume textbooks are a relatively short-run printing job, which drives up the unit price.
     
  11. Dedalus

    Dedalus Senior member

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    ^I'm interested in knowing how much of the textbook price goes to printing and shipping/handling. And also the sales figures for a "typical" text. I presume textbooks are a relatively short-run printing job, which drives up the unit price.

    The printing and shipping varies, but it is a relatively negligible cost, the way actual pressed and printed CDs are a negligible cost. The bulk of the cost lies in the development process. Things that you are paying for with a medical textbook:

    -Marketing. From market research to promotion to sales.
    -Authors. These people are well-established in their respective fields and charge a pretty penny for the rights to put their names on a product. Unlike a lot of other fields involving intellectual property, you actually need to be a somebody with years of education and credentialing and experience to be an author.
    -Contributors. The authors don't actually write most of the books, credible contributors do. They either do it out of love for the profession, money, to advance their career, or in hopes of someday becoming an author.
    -Reviewers. We can't risk putting out content with erroneous information, so we get many many reviews.
    -Ancillary content for a text. This includes test banks, online resources, etc. which also involve Authors/Contributors/Reviewers. I work in an editorial branch of the company, and this sort of thing would also require involving a multimedia department.
    -Production / Design / Illustration / Photos / Layout. I don't know what goes on here, but they do their job.

    There's a lot I'm missing but I have to go home so I think you get the gist. The majority of the cost lies in the work / content and not the actual processed trees.
     
  12. aportnoy

    aportnoy Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Clueless...The expenses that go into researching and prodcuing a text book are enourmous. The business model sucks as you sink the prepublication and research expenses before you sell a single copy.

    Plus, your local campus bookstor is making a huge profit on the sale to you, not the publisher.

    Disclosure...I work (and have worked) for McGraw-Hill for 10+ years.
     
  13. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

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    Plus, your local campus bookstor is making a huge profit on the sale to you, not the publisher.

    +1. Campus bookstores (and especially their "buyback" programs) are a much bigger example of highway robbery than the textbook publishers. Selling me a book for $105 and allowing me to sell it back to you for $15, so you can sell it again the next semester for $95? Yeah that sounds great. Can I at least get a reacharound with that?
     
  14. otc

    otc Senior member

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    As an undergrad, I took a class at the B-school that wanted you to buy a big fat $150 packet of bound photocopies....There were 3 of us in the class so we took one copy, pulled the spiral binding off, ran it through a sheet-fed scanner/copier. Basically the same thing they were doing at the bookstore, but free (only if you have access to a large copier)--didn't feel at all bad about making copies of their copies.

    Conversely, our technical Macro textbook (written by professors) was free as a PDF or very cheaply printed and bound and the more general conceptual book was available in the $.01 half.com previous edition special. Took that PDF to the aforementioned copier unit, ran off a few copies and brought them to kinkos to be bound.

    As far as actual textbooks though...how much are you paying for law school? just go buy the damn things...this ain't undergrad.
     
  15. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Senior member

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    ...Selling me a book for $105 and allowing me to sell it back to you for $15, so you can sell it again the next semester for $95?...

    Back in my day, the buy-back guys were traveling whores who had no connection with the bookstore at all. I remember one real shady-looking dude who always showed up on my campus: he set up his little stand in the Union and stood there with a stack of new $1s. He'd look at my books and then thumb down the stack of bills like a flip-book. It took me a couple years to realize he had sequential bills and was just going by the serial numbers.

    Oh, and all the books I was selling back were carved on stone, kyle.
    [​IMG]


    (Preemptive age-related joke so kwilk can't get me.)
     

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