It seems that textbook publishers are constantly updating college materials, which often means that students are required to purchase new books on a regular basis. This can be extremely frustrating if you had planned to use the book for more than one class only to find out that the edition has been updated in the meantime. You may actually be able to continue using an older edition of the book, so here are some things for you to consider:
- Try to compare the latest edition with the one you have currently. Often, there is only a minimal amount of new information added. Other times, the material may be presented in much the same way with the exception that new captions are added to photographs or the pages slightly rearranged. This is especially true of math books, which often contain the same problems in more than one edition of the text.
- What is the subject matter of the book? If it’s an English or Math textbook, chances are little has changed. If it deals with medical science or contains technical material, quite a bit of material may have been updated. In this case, it is best to shell out for a new book even though it might be tempting to use an earlier edition.
- When was the older edition published? If a publisher tends to update their editions yearly, this means the textbook you already have may still be very current. It can also be helpful to know which edition of the book your instructor is using, since many colleges do not always buy the latest editions for professors to use. If the teacher is using an older edition of a textbook, chances are you will also be able to do the same.