My books cost me $625 this semester. I was able to get the majority of them used with minimal notes/highlighting. I only had to resort to Amazon once and it was still $20 less than the new price the university bookstore listed.
The market in textbooks and how universities interact with it is interesting. As an undergraduate I was fortunate to get several of my books from the library or on loan from professors. I frequently used older editions and made sure to take good notes. Most of my professors admitted that the older editions weren't any different than the newer ones. Some would even give those of us using older editions a heads up on new sections. Many professors don't have control over what editions are ordered since the bookstore does it for them. The profs just provide a list of books to the bookstore and the books magically appear. I had several profs who had no clue their textbooks cost so much. I would be curious if a professor can actually request a required older edition of a textbook.
I remember a classmate looking so surprised when she saw how many textbooks/books I could check out from the library. She started doing it as well and we often competed for the same books. Lucky for us there was usually more than one copy. It saved me plenty of dough, however law school will be different. So in many ways this is the first time I've had to purchase books and IT SUCKED! I did save about $200 though, which will probably go toward some other unforeseen law school expense...
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