Finally Got all 1st Sem. Books!

I’ve finally got all of my books for the first semester!  This delay will no doubt cause me to have to push in to the buffer week between semesters for at least 18.02 Physics II and 22.05 Neutron and Reactor Physics, but I’m feeling better now that I have the materials I need.

From now on I’m going to use the buffer weeks to order books/materials for two semesters ahead of the one I just completed.  That will allow a whole month for the materials to arrive.

For these ones, I used Amazon to order them, but I went through to the Amazon Marketplace in order to find the cheapest used books.  I’ve now ordered all of my books for semesters 1 and 2, and paid probably 10% of the total cost of buying all new books.

I remember when I was studying undergraduate I used to dread the prospect of buying and using textbooks.  I would get them all last minute or after a week or two into the actual course and would pay a premium for them.  I lacked the discipline to plan ahead and buy early from Amazon or Ebay.

From these past couple of weeks I’ve found that when searching for textbooks on Amazon, you should shop around for marketplace sellers who have used and paperback versions of the text books.  When you first search the textbook title or ISBN it will first show you all of the prices for new books fulfilled by Amazon, then new books fulfilled by Amazon-affiliated seller, then used fulfilled by Amazon, and finally if you click on the “show used from $xx.xx” you will be able to see a list of the secondary used book sellers who will ship to you outside of the Amazon machine.  Here you will find the best deals, but you won’t get the 2-day Amazon Prime shipping (generally).

It is actually very fulfilling to have these books.  You don’t realize how valuable and knowledge-rich these books until you sit down and read them at your own leisure and by your own volition.  And also when you’ve been in a academically and intellectually stagnant work environment for several years.  I’ve only just cracked into these three, doing the first week of lectures worth of readings and exercises, but oh man is it good to be back in the learning game!


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