NEW or USED books?

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mixitup
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NEW or USED books?

Postby mixitup » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:38 pm

Does it matter? I was looking on Amazon and noticed you can get books for literally a fraction of the price to buy them new from my law school's bookstore, but is there any reason I should avoid getting used books or books from a different vendor?

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traehekat
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby traehekat » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:39 pm

One obvious downside is that the used books will most likely be heavily highlighted/marked up. If that doesn't bother you then I don't see much of a reason to spring for the new ones.

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jennylynn
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby jennylynn » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:54 pm

I purchased books new for 1L so I wouldn't be tempted to use the marking/highlighting as a crutch and didn't have the discernment yet to know whether the marks were made by an idiot or not. For 2L, I got used books as lightly used as possible.

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deneuve39
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby deneuve39 » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:19 pm

I got used 2nd semester my 1L year, look on amazon for the ones that don't have a lot of annotating (a book marketed as "very good" or "like new" is going to have less highlighting or annotating than one marked "good").

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traehekat
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby traehekat » Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:22 pm

Just sayin', the money saved from not buying new books COULD buy...

Image

or...

Image

or...

Image

Just a thought.

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RUQRU
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby RUQRU » Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:21 pm

traehekat wrote:One obvious downside is that the used books will most likely be heavily highlighted/marked up. If that doesn't bother you then I don't see much of a reason to spring for the new ones.


I found a used copy of Yeazel on Amazon for $62.00 as opposed to $141 new. It was labeled "acceptable" and is pretty much highlighted and noted. But I still think the savings are worth it. These are not the kind of books I intend to keep after class is over. So I'll probably toss them since reselling used books is not worth the hassle.

eth3n
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby eth3n » Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:08 am

you wont be using the books all that much, get used.

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happy187
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby happy187 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:05 am

I will be a 1L in just a few short weeks and I went ahead and bought new. I didn't want the distraction of a marked up book at least for my first sememster. After I get in the swing of things I anticipate buying used.

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Blindmelon
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby Blindmelon » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:08 am

The real question is whether to buy the books at all. Most law libraries will have copies on reserve that you can use. Buddy of mine just used the reserve copies, and while its a pain sometimes, usually its no big deal. If you have a final where they make you site page numbers, or directly to cases, you may need it.

LurkerNoMore
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby LurkerNoMore » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:21 am

This is entirely dependent on what type of studier you are. I needed clean (or nearly clean copies) of books. I underline and take notes heavily in my books. If you are a skimmer or someone who types up notes, marked up copies might not be a problem for you.

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romothesavior
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby romothesavior » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:25 am

At least at WUSTL, it looks like most casebooks and supplements are listed as "Required." Should I feel obligated to get them all? I mean, required = required but it seems like most TLSers don't recommend supplements.

270910
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby 270910 » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:37 am

romothesavior wrote:At least at WUSTL, it looks like most casebooks and supplements are listed as "Required." Should I feel obligated to get them all? I mean, required = required but it seems like most TLSers don't recommend supplements.


Required is required.

And most TLSers caution against over-emphasis on supplements, not total abstention. That said, two caveats. First, supplements can be very important while you're first learning how to learn the law. You won't know what precisely you need to get out of the personal jurisdiction line of cases, but Glannon will have you covered. It can be a "walk before you crawl" thing. Second, "supplement" may in this case be a casebook supplement - which means new cases since the last edition, a copy of the code (like the federal rules of civil procedure or the model penal code) to accompany the cases, etc.

sbalive
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby sbalive » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:44 am

romothesavior wrote:At least at WUSTL, it looks like most casebooks and supplements are listed as "Required." Should I feel obligated to get them all? I mean, required = required but it seems like most TLSers don't recommend supplements.


Really? I'd say the opposite... After I figured out how to study in second semester, I basically stopped using my casebook except to read for class, definitely stopped marking it up, and relied heavily on supplements. It's really a matter of personal style. My advice would be to buy new casebooks first semester and see how it goes, then see what you need to do for the rest of law school to fit your personal style.

As for supplements, they're not usually marked up, so you should be able to get them used. I did do the library thing for one class, and I basically spent the equivalent of a full day going through the supplement (it was on the short side) and adding it to my notes. I'd have rather have had it in my hands. Again, for first semester, I wouldn't worry about costs -- you can readjust in second semester and beyond.

Also, if you can bring laptops, I copied and pasted restatements, rules, statutory language, and quotes from cases from Lexis/Westlaw directly to my notes. But, reading the edited cases is still a lot better than full cases, especially for first semester. I'm considering not buying casebooks in 2L though, since I've gotten so much better at reading through even a long case and picking out the interesting stuff. The bottom line is it's an evolution -- if you're new to law school, just get everything, and then work out what you need.

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romothesavior
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby romothesavior » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:47 am

sbalive wrote:
romothesavior wrote:At least at WUSTL, it looks like most casebooks and supplements are listed as "Required." Should I feel obligated to get them all? I mean, required = required but it seems like most TLSers don't recommend supplements.


Really? I'd say the opposite... After I figured out how to study in second semester, I basically stopped using my casebook except to read for class, definitely stopped marking it up, and relied heavily on supplements. It's really a matter of personal style. My advice would be to buy new casebooks first semester and see how it goes, then see what you need to do for the rest of law school to fit your personal style.

As for supplements, they're not usually marked up, so you should be able to get them used. I did do the library thing for one class, and I basically spent the equivalent of a full day going through the supplement (it was on the short side) and adding it to my notes. I'd have rather have had it in my hands. Again, for first semester, I wouldn't worry about costs -- you can readjust in second semester and beyond.

Also, if you can bring laptops, I copied and pasted restatements, rules, statutory language, and quotes from cases from Lexis/Westlaw directly to my notes. But, reading the edited cases is still a lot better than full cases, especially for first semester. I'm considering not buying casebooks in 2L though, since I've gotten so much better at reading through even a long case and picking out the interesting stuff. The bottom line is it's an evolution -- if you're new to law school, just get everything, and then work out what you need.


Yeah I've heard both supplements and casebooks are unhelpful from various folks, but this is TLS and consensus on things like this is rare. I suppose a lot of it depends on how people learn. But thanks for this post, it is pretty helpful for someone with no idea what to expect out of law textbooks.

It just sucks knowing how much it will cost each semester. I think I usually spent ~$200 a semester for books in undergrad.

rando
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby rando » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:48 am

Can't believe that nobody has brought up the problem that many teachers continually update the editions they are using. When your teacher is using the 10th edition and you got the 9th edition used, it can be a pain for two reasons.

1 - mostly, the page numbers are different

2 - some of the cases and notes after the cases are different (but not many)

It's still worth it to buy used, but you should be aware nonetheless.

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traehekat
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby traehekat » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:04 am

rando wrote:Can't believe that nobody has brought up the problem that many teachers continually update the editions they are using. When your teacher is using the 10th edition and you got the 9th edition used, it can be a pain for two reasons.

1 - mostly, the page numbers are different

2 - some of the cases and notes after the cases are different (but not many)

It's still worth it to buy used, but you should be aware nonetheless.


You can pick up used copies of the most recent editions, which are still HEAVILY discounted.

rando
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby rando » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:26 am

traehekat wrote:
rando wrote:Can't believe that nobody has brought up the problem that many teachers continually update the editions they are using. When your teacher is using the 10th edition and you got the 9th edition used, it can be a pain for two reasons.

1 - mostly, the page numbers are different

2 - some of the cases and notes after the cases are different (but not many)

It's still worth it to buy used, but you should be aware nonetheless.


You can pick up used copies of the most recent editions, which are still HEAVILY discounted.


Yes. You know much more than I do. I've only had a half dozen classes where the prof is utilizing a newly released text.

Profs do this all the time because many of them publish text books and it is in their (and the publisher's) best interest to continue releasing new books with minor changes.

sbalive
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby sbalive » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:38 am

rando wrote:
traehekat wrote:
rando wrote:Can't believe that nobody has brought up the problem that many teachers continually update the editions they are using. When your teacher is using the 10th edition and you got the 9th edition used, it can be a pain for two reasons.

1 - mostly, the page numbers are different

2 - some of the cases and notes after the cases are different (but not many)

It's still worth it to buy used, but you should be aware nonetheless.


You can pick up used copies of the most recent editions, which are still HEAVILY discounted.


Yes. You know much more than I do. I've only had a half dozen classes where the prof is utilizing a newly released text.

Profs do this all the time because many of them publish text books and it is in their (and the publisher's) best interest to continue releasing new books with minor changes.


But, casebooks change more slowly than textbooks in other disciplines (you'll often just see a supplement with new law, i.e. in CivPro and ConLaw (nothing else changes), and fewer consequences if you don't have the newest edition, i.e. even where there are more substantial changes, the cases are the same, and syllabus + prof will tell you what cases to read, even if you have different page numbers.

That said, I'd still get the new ones in the Fall while you're still figuring stuff out.

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romothesavior
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby romothesavior » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:40 am

rando wrote:Profs do this all the time because many of them publish text books and it is in their (and the publisher's) best interest to continue releasing new books with minor changes.


We had a Textbook Advisory Committee at my undergrad for this exact reason. They pretty much mandated that profs only update books when truly necessary, and they strongly urged profs to make course packs and distribute them for $20 instead of assigning multiple books when we'd only be using snippets of each. This didn't really affect me at all since my textbooks were cheap to begin with (Nietzsche is dead, so he won't be updating his works anytime soon :D), but for my hard sciences friends who spent $600-1000 a semester, this was really a lifesaver. It is outrageous how expensive books are, especially when the updated editions are practically mere images of the previous edition.

rando
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby rando » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:41 am

@sbalive - casebooks change all the time. Total random guesstimate, but I would wager every two years for your average casebook.

Your other points have already been discussed.

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romothesavior
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby romothesavior » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:45 am

disco_barred wrote: Second, "supplement" may in this case be a casebook supplement - which means new cases since the last edition, a copy of the code (like the federal rules of civil procedure or the model penal code) to accompany the cases, etc.


Upon further review, I think you're credited here. I think I confused EE's and the like with the casebook supplements.

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traehekat
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby traehekat » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:28 pm

rando wrote:
traehekat wrote:
rando wrote:Can't believe that nobody has brought up the problem that many teachers continually update the editions they are using. When your teacher is using the 10th edition and you got the 9th edition used, it can be a pain for two reasons.

1 - mostly, the page numbers are different

2 - some of the cases and notes after the cases are different (but not many)

It's still worth it to buy used, but you should be aware nonetheless.


You can pick up used copies of the most recent editions, which are still HEAVILY discounted.


Yes. You know much more than I do. I've only had a half dozen classes where the prof is utilizing a newly released text.

Profs do this all the time because many of them publish text books and it is in their (and the publisher's) best interest to continue releasing new books with minor changes.


Well, what is "newly released"? I can't really speak from experience in law school obviously, but I'm just saying the list of books I received for this semester all have their most recently edition available on Amazon at a discounted rate. I guess this won't always be the case (like for instance, the year the newest edition comes out), but more often than not you should be able to pick up a used copy of a latest edition.

And yeah, I'm not really advocating buying OLDER editions. I agree that while it probably won't like, ruin your semester, it may be a bit of a pain in the ass.

rando
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby rando » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:35 pm

Older editions will be a pain in the ass. I would still do it, but many won't.

My experience has been about 50/50 with profs using newly released versions. I think this is a bit above normal, but not by that much. Casebooks get to the 197th edition by being released often.

LoriBelle
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby LoriBelle » Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:01 pm

I definitely bought NEW for my first year. The skill of reading cases and extracting the law from them YOURSELF is really important, and reading cases without prior annotations will help you learn to do this.

I'm starting my 2L year, and I'm still using new textbooks (which are probably cheaper on Amazon than in the bookstore). Why? I do this because I have mild ADD and need the physical act of highlighting to help me focus on what I'm reading, and because I don't want to be at the mercy of whatever idiot had the book before me and highlighted every single word. It's different for everyone, I guess.

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romothesavior
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Re: NEW or USED books?

Postby romothesavior » Mon Aug 02, 2010 1:46 pm

2Ls and 3Ls, it may be useful to know:

-How much you spent
-If you bought used or new
-What you bought besides casebooks
-Where you bought them

I (and I'm sure others) would find it very helpful to know what we're looking at spending for this fall.




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