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Author Topic: Books for this fall  (Read 1355 times)

rainmkr07

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Books for this fall
« on: July 28, 2004, 01:57:45 PM »
So my school has factored about $900 in money for books ($450 per semester).

I have added up the cost of the books, new at the bookstore, and I am figuring them at about $600 per semester.

I could buy the same books / editions used, online, from various websites, and I bet I could spend $150 on them.

My question, to current students, and soon to be students, is it worth the savings?  Is saving $450 per semester worth the downsides of having used books with notes in them / highlighting / etc.  Or should I just go all out - it is law school - and spend the extra money on new books - and hope I can recover 50-75% of the cost by selling to future students or at the bookstore buyback?

Thoughts / Opinions?


Coregram

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Re: Books for this fall
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2004, 02:35:30 PM »
First, if you can buy used books for 25% of the new cost, I doubt you'll be able to recover 50-75% of the cost of new books yourself next year. 

Also, someone else's notes could be helpful, but might be distracting.

Having said all that, I've been working as a CPA for the past 10 years.  I still have my accounting and tax books from school, and refer back to them a couple of times a month (then check to make sure what I've found is still current.)  If you think you might use them in your practice and they save you even an hour or two of research time ("gee....I know I saw a case like that back in school,") in pointing you in the right direction, then I'd buy new and save them.  That's what I plan to do.  Bu that assumes you won't have to eat cat food by buying new!!

mikebravo

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Re: Books for this fall
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2004, 04:37:26 PM »
I just finished my 1L year.  I spent a lot of money on new books the first semester, but much less the second semester.  This is mainly because I thought I needed to have new books so I could highlight what I thought was important.  It is nice to have new books, especially if you are "book-briefing."  However, if you have time, go to the bookstore and try to find clean used books, or at least fairly clean.  You would be surprised how many people don't highlight much in their books.  I found many used books my second semester that were in great shape.  It takes time but it is worth the savings.  If you can't find any with light highlighting then buy new, because all the colors can get distracting.  Also, a word of advice concerning commercial outlines/study aids considering they will increase your book expenses:  Definitely use them, but find a good one and stick with it!  You will hear many people talk about how great their commercial outlines/study aids are and you may be tempted to buy them because you don't want to be at a disadvantage.  However, remember you will have plenty to read from your casebook and too many study aids results in books not being used simply because you do not have time to read all of them.  Ask a 2L what study aids they used and then make your own decision.  Most are the same, except they may have a different format.  If you find out that your prof gives multiple choice questions on his/her exams then find a study aid that ask multiple choice questions.  Also, try the bar review books since the presence of multiple choice questions on the bar is why profs use multiple choice questions on their exams.

rainmkr07

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Re: Books for this fall
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2004, 04:54:34 PM »
thank you both for your replies.

i will take both replies as votes for new books more or less. ;)

i would love to save money, but distracting writing in used books might not be worth it.

plus i didnt think about just keeping the books forever, and then new books would turn out to be a wise long term investment as well.

anyone else have thoughts?  new vs used?  we all have to make this choice at some point right?  :)


uagirliegirl

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Re: Books for this fall
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2004, 07:44:40 PM »
I suggest new books. If you've ever read Law School Confidential (which I highly recommend) it suggests getting new books and suggests a "book briefing" method which will greatly aid in the study process and prevent you from looking "unprepared" should get called on in class. The method involves highlighting and side notes. You don't want someone else's notes and highlighting distracting you or confusing you. Also, you'll most likely keep the books for years to come. It's a good investment.  Good luck!

vw515

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Re: Books for this fall
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2004, 12:41:25 AM »
buy new books. Law school confidential good book but you have to find out and fast what method works best for you. Brief your own cases and outline for yourselves. Shortcuts dont work you have to read for yourself so dont let someone elses highlighting get in the way. Brief all your cases and be organized. Good luck

smujd2007

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Re: Books for this fall
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2004, 11:37:32 AM »
I plan to buy new because I like to write, in pencil, in the margins of my books.  I used the book briefing method in a course I took during my last semester of undergrad (we used a casebook as my text) and book briefing the first time I read a case (I normally read a case twice) made it easier to write the case brief.  I haven't read law school confidential but I think this is what they are referring to, or at least something similar.

Good luck to everyone during 1L.
smujd2007 is now an Attorney at Law!

thepope

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Re: Books for this fall
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2004, 11:54:54 AM »
I just finished my first year, and I agree with what the earlier poster said. Go to the bookstore and look for used books that have almost no markings or highlights in them. I was able to find two or three books that were tagged as used but had no markings - instant savings. But if you're not so lucky, don't buy a used book that has been highlighted or written in heavily. I'm no psychologist, but it messes with your mind and keeps you from really reading the material yourself. Dunno, but it doesn't work for me.

JH

lawgirl

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Re: Books for this fall
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2004, 03:44:30 PM »
I go to the bookstore and look for the used books that have not been marked in yet. If I cannot find one that is decent, then I buy new. I can't stand seeing someone else's thought process. Check your law school's bookstore out. You should be able to find some fairly decent used books. Just try to be one of the early bird buyers so that you have the best selection. Call the bookstore, but try to be right after the previous semester's buy back and before everyone else comes in to buy for the new semester.

novice

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Re: Books for this fall
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2004, 10:32:15 AM »
I used to work as Assistant Manager of a college bookstore in Orlando.  I also took classes at that college.  As soon as books arrived each semester, I thumbed through every single used book until I found one that looked perfect.  I got a "new" book at a used price.

If you plan to buy used books, get to the bookstore as soon as they start stocking their shelves with that semester's books.  I went to check out prices on my first semester law books and was excited that there were so many used books.  I went back a week later (after I got paid) and there was only one used book left for the classes I had to take.  I was not a happy camper!   :'(