#1 Posted by MAN_FLANNEL (2462 posts) -

So like most people I hate getting shit on by text book prices every semester, and I literally just found out about "International Edition" text books. I can either buy a used, crappy US copy of the book I need for $70 ($150 new), or buy an international edition brand new for around $20. Anybody have any experience with these?

#2 Edited by zombie2011 (4968 posts) -

Depends on what your major is.

I got my degree in Mechanical Engineering from the US. US uses english units while international versions of books use SI units so i couldn't use them. The books are exactly the same they just have different units which was no good for me.

If you're buying international versions of psychology or sociology books or other electives it'll be alright. They are the exact same books

#3 Posted by CaLe (3897 posts) -

Luckily people have scanned a whole bunch of the books I've needed so I just downloaded them for free. Maybe that's illegal, but I don't really care.

#4 Posted by MAN_FLANNEL (2462 posts) -

@zombie2011 said:

Depends on what your major is.

I got my degree in Mechanical Engineering from the US. US uses english units while international versions of books use SI units so i couldn't use them. The books are exactly the same they just have different units which was no good for me.

If you're buying international versions of psychology or sociology books or other electives it'll be alright. They are the exact same books

Yeah I guess that could be a problem. Civil Engineering here and it's a Transportation book.

#5 Posted by ajamafalous (11813 posts) -
@MAN_FLANNEL said:

@zombie2011 said:

Depends on what your major is.

I got my degree in Mechanical Engineering from the US. US uses english units while international versions of books use SI units so i couldn't use them. The books are exactly the same they just have different units which was no good for me.

If you're buying international versions of psychology or sociology books or other electives it'll be alright. They are the exact same books

Yeah I guess that could be a problem. Civil Engineering here and it's a Transportation book.

You'll probably also run into the situation where problems are numbered differently in the International Edition (i.e. homework says do problems 4, 5, 6, but in the International Edition those same problems are problems 5, 2, 12, etc.). Happened to a few people in my engineering classes that tried to get away with buying International Editions of books.
#6 Posted by zombie2011 (4968 posts) -

@MAN_FLANNEL said:

@zombie2011 said:

Depends on what your major is.

I got my degree in Mechanical Engineering from the US. US uses english units while international versions of books use SI units so i couldn't use them. The books are exactly the same they just have different units which was no good for me.

If you're buying international versions of psychology or sociology books or other electives it'll be alright. They are the exact same books

Yeah I guess that could be a problem. Civil Engineering here and it's a Transportation book.

You could still buy them, the words and equations will be the same. The only difference i found in my Heat Transfer and Thermo books were the HW questions and examples were different because of units. Also those books have a ton off reference tables in the back, but those are on the internet so i just printed off the English versions of them.

As long as you have a friend that will let you copy the HW problems or let you reference his book when you feel unsure if something is the same, it's totally worth saving the extra $100 or so.

#7 Posted by Ubersmake (754 posts) -

Besides what people have already said, the IE textbooks I've seen are generally made of cheaper materials. They're usually paperback, and use very thin paper. Which is actually a plus for me! I hated lugging around textbooks during college.

#8 Posted by MAN_FLANNEL (2462 posts) -

I found a used (sounds pretty beat up) US edition for $33 on Ebay. I'll probably just go with that. I don't want to worry about problem #'s and units at midnight before work is due lol. Plus I'll be able to sell it to the bookstore (or student) for some money back (might even make a profit).

@Ubersmake said:

Besides what people have already said, the IE textbooks I've seen are generally made of cheaper materials. They're usually paperback, and use very thin paper. Which is actually a plus for me! I hated lugging around textbooks during college.

Even the US editions are paperback.

#9 Posted by buzz_killington (3532 posts) -

I haven't encountered this for my text books, but I really hate paying $200 for a fucking book (for optional courses too!). Luckily, in my program (Computer Sci) you can get by not buying textbooks (or even going to school).

#10 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1503 posts) -

Make sure they haven't done something shitty like re-arrange the practice questions (if that's even applicable). I bought a used year-old copy of a math book once, and the only difference between the required edition and it was that they swapped just enough of the homework questions to ensure that I was can-I-borrow-your-book guy for the whole year.

#11 Edited by thatdutchguy (1267 posts) -

150 dollars for a book ? WTF must be pretty special.

#12 Posted by d_breeze (223 posts) -

I almost exclusively buy the international editions because I refuse to pay $150 for a book when I can get it for $40. I'm an electrical engineer, and what I usually do is ask one of my classmates if I can look at their book and compare to make sure that the problems are the same. I've never had any problems. I've also bought older editions of books and did the same thing just to find out that in each problem set there was MAYBE one different problem, so that's an option too :) And I've found ebay and biblio to have really cheap textbooks sometimes.

#13 Posted by MAN_FLANNEL (2462 posts) -

@thatdutchguy said:

150 dollars for a book ? WTF must be pretty special.

Yeah it's a crock of shit. They change the editions about every 3 years in order to make the older versions worthless. A book I payed around $170 for (published in 2011) was exactly the same as one published in the 90's. Only thing was that they changed the order of the problems around. They didn't even fix typos. Some profs are nice enough to post the problems online and tell the class they can get older versions. Some don't care and only assign problem #'s from the newest versions.

But alot of the time you can get 50%-60% of your money back by selling it used.