Now in sitting pretty in third when I look back to my fresher days I sometimes can't help imagining how foolish I was when it came to buying textbooks. But they say hindsight is always better than foresight. Therefore, I have decided to share my hindsight with you freshers.
Let me share some tips from ideas that I have picked up from books, friends, and mistakes.
- Just because a book is recommended by the faculty does not make it the best for you. Don’t just tackle a book list indiscriminately. Find out which are the most relevant and the ones that will best suit your kind of person. It does matter what kinda of temperament you have, since bulky textbooks especially those which stress more on concepts rather than prepare you for exams require more patience and regular reading. But if your the guy who can listen to professors in lecture and understand the basic concepts, you will just need a exam guide. But having said that, I personally believe that the more concept oriented books are must haves for multiple choice question exams.
-First ask yourself, “Do I need the book?”
-Never buy a book on a friend’s recommendation only—you might not have the same tastes or reading habits
-Always scrutinise a book before buying it. A new book is unfamiliar to you when you first pick it up, and you need to spend a little time with it before you can be sure it is going to be of any help to you
Look beyond the cover. It usually says little about the content of the book
Open the book to the preface, which is usually the place where the author states the scope of the book, the target audience, and the purpose of writing it
Look at the contents page, which gives you a broad framework of the book’s structure
Then turn to the back of the book and quickly skip through the index. If there are any topics you know well, you can see how the author tackles the subject
Sample the opinion of your classmates and colleagues in other years. You may also ask your lecturer or professor if they know about the book and ask for their opinion.
You can borrow the book from lending section of your college library, keep the book with you for couple of days and then decide whether to buy it or not.
-You may consider a recommended text too good to drop, although you find it too difficult to read. In such case, select and buy a good introductory book for yourself on the course. If properly used, you will find the money you spend well worthwhile
-Buy supplementary or reference texts if you want to get a better grasp of the subject. But see if the library has copies first to avoid buying books that you do not need to read for more than a topic or two.
-Once you decide to buy the book start looking for places which give heaviest of discount. Usually freshers are not aware of bargains that are available. If you want a book which is only going to help you clear some sundry college exam, buy it second hand or borrow it from senior or best way photocopy it. (though this is not legal... everyone does it) Most of the major book depots in Mumbai stock second hand books (versions really dont matter ...unless there is significant additional information) or you may approach seniors. Also, there are streetside vendors at Churchgate and Mumbai High Court.
If you want to buy fresh books please do enquire about prices in various books depots. Believe me though you may spend few bucks in phone calls usually you will more thatn recover that cost discount you might have otherwise missed. Most of the book stores give you a free home delivery. At some places they offer you free rexine covers.
So in nutshell dont hurry to buy books. Take your own time and give yourself good reason before buying a particular book.