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Students from four metro universities open up about their required reading


Joe Wertz October 7th, 2010

Students show how they save and stave off that big textbook tab.

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Rachel Evans
University of Central Oklahoma
Junior, psychology

Most expensive textbook:
"Organic Chemistry"  
$268 new; $201 used

Evans still hasn't bought her most expensive textbook.

"That was, like, $250, and I just said, 'No,'" she said between classes at UCO. She also didn't buy the $179 text required by her microbiology professor, but said she'll make do by borrowing the book from classmates. The $103 microbiology lab manual was an unavoidable buy, she said, as was the text for her logic class, which goes for less than $50 new. Evans found a used copy of that one online for only $5, she said.

Curtis Kaps
Oklahoma Christian University
Junior, physical education

Most expensive textbook:
"Physiology of Sport and Exercise"  
$111.25 new; $83.45 used

Two of Kaps' classes didn't require textbooks at all, so his total bill was relatively small. His most expensive book came with a physiology class; his other readings each came in well under $50.

Kaps said he waits until classes start before he buys books, in an attempt to suss out whether quizzes or class work will actually reference the texts. He tried sharing a textbook one semester, but said he won't make that mistake again.

"I don't like needing it when they're reading it, and having to track them down to borrow it," he said. "It's just a mess."

Joedi Riffle
University of Oklahoma
Senior, art

Most expensive textbook:
"Being and Place Among the Tlingit"  
$24.95 new

Riffle, an art major studying painting and sculpture, had the lightest book bill of the surveyed students. Her most expensive text " less than $25 new " was one of four paperbacks required by her Native American geography professor.

All of Riffle's other classes are art-related and don't require any textbooks. She said she's pretty good about buying all the books required by her class syllabi.

"If I can wait, I will," she said about delaying purchase until her professor actually mentions the text.

Riffle said she doesn't generally buy books online unless they aren't available at the campus bookstore.

Jeremy Sheets
Oklahoma City University
Senior, cello performance

Most expensive textbook:
"Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music"  
$83.50 new; $62.75 used

Music major Sheets was lucky this semester: He didn't even need to buy his most expensive textbook.

"My friends had them from previous years, so I was just able to use theirs," he said. The two books Sheets did buy " a packet for a conducting class and a book for a musical forms class " totaled less than $80, he said.
He and a friend shared a book last semester, which worked out.

"We just got together and read on the nights we had required reading," he said.

Sheets said he buys most of his textbooks online at Amazon, which is "always much cheaper," especially since the book's condition isn't factored. "I could care less what condition they're in, as long as they have all their pages." "Joe Wertz | Photo/Joe Wertz
 
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