Textbook Varieties, Part 1

Much like apples, textbooks come in many different varieties.  I am not writing of simply new and used- the green and red apples of the textbook orchard.  Today’s student has their pick of more than just a new or used edition. Additional choices include:  International editions which might be significantly less expensive, Teacher’s editions which might be significantly more helpful, or even eBooks which might be significantly more convenient.  We’ll examine these in Part II.

New textbooks are simply defined.  They are new, pristine, fresh, previously unowned.  The book’s pages are clean and crisp, the cover is in perfect condition, and it might even have that fresh off the presses new book smell.  For all practical purposes you will never sell a new book, but you’ll probably buy your share of them.  Once bought a new book is used.  It can be described as “like-new” but it’s used and there is no getting around that fact.

Just as there are both sweet and sour green apples, there are many different varieties of used books, in general though a used book is any book that isn’t new.  The price, as well as the value, of a used book fluctuates greatly according to its condition.  A “like-new” or once-used book can resell for 50% its original cost.  However even the most expensive book you own won’t resale for anything if it looks like it sat in water overnight.  Keep in mind, if you can’t open the pages to read the book no one else can either.  In between those two extremes is an entire resale world.  The majority of used books have minor wear and tear from notes in the margins and highlighted text to creased pages and scratched covers.  Most companies are fairly lenient in their used buyback policies.  Just make sure there’s no water damage, no missing pages, and the spine of the book will standup for another year or two.

As I mentioned previously there are more than green and red apples in the orchard.  In our next edition we will cover some of the more exotic apple varieties; I mean book types, including international editions, teacher’s annotated editions, and eBooks.  Though these types might be more exotic and thus harder to find that can make them even sweeter when they are found.

By: Dan Russell

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