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Essential reading and buying books???

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    I have a few reading lists for my different modules and on it they have "essential reading", "background reading" and "other". Do I need to buy books from all of these or just the ones in the essential reading section?

    (Original post by danuuutka)
    I have a few reading lists for my different modules and on it they have "essential reading", "background reading" and "other". Do I need to buy books from all of these or just the ones in the essential reading section?
    Depends on the course you're going to be studying, and also, I would argue, on how equipped the library/libraries is/are. For a science course for example, I would discourage buying textbooks until you have borrowed them from the library, and are sure they are useful to own. This is because so much learning can be done for free online and from lecture slides. Science textbooks can be useful if they suit your learning style, but they tend to contain far more detail than you would ever require for undergraduate level. You would have to always be aware of that, comparing the book to the lecture slides.

    On the other hand, if you were doing English Literature, the books on the reading list would be much more important, and the library would run out quick. You would still need to check you're buying the correct books for the modules you're taking.

    Moral of the story: don't be in a hurry to splash on expensive books. Use your library where possible, and what materials help you learn best.

    I thought I would also mention that most libraries now do online set ups where you can search for absolutely anything, books, journals, articles ect.
    I would imagine that most of what you need is on there?
    Aswell as the use of the universities site library too?

    Make the most of it
    I am starting my 2nd year and did not buy one book.

    Its hard to narrow it down, I also received a humongous list so what I did was pay a visit to Foyles (bookstore) in Tottenham Court Road and browse through all the books that I was told to get and narrowed out the ones I actually needed/liked or just wanted. I saved all their names and ordered them used or on Amazon and saved about £50 or £60!

    You don't need to BUY any of them. Your university library should have the majority (if not all) of the books you need for loan. You can spend an absolute fortune on academic books/textbooks and often it's really easy to get them out from the library. It's often a good idea to get the essential reading books out at the start of freshers before anyone else gets round to it so you can read them when you decide to. I only 'needed to buy' one book during my entire degree... because I had to do a book review and the library had two copies which disappeared within an hour of it being set.

    Your background/other reading lists are things you may choose to read to help with your essays/exams and give you more information. But when you're set an essay or exam you may have several topics and only actually need to know one of them, so then you can pick your extra reading based on your topic at the time.

    Go on Facebook. There is probably a group for your course with last years people selling their books. Depending on your strategy you could get in early before the other freshers or hold off until they've done their buying and the sellers will want to offload at almost any price

    Depending on the licences they've got in place the uni library may make chapters (or whole books) available online for free. For my last degree I only bought one book, and that was because I wanted it for referencing after the course.
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