etextbooks? or loose leaf textbooks?

Has anyone used a “loose-leaf” textbook or an ebook? I am taking a communications course and they use the Art of Public Speaking by Lucas. It’s the 10th ed. I can buy it new for $110 or I can purchase it as a printable ebook for $55. I just have noticed that my backpack is crazy heavy. We don’t even go through all of the chapters of the books. I don’t mind purchasing IF the college bookstore will buy it back, but, they won’t this book or my math class book.

I guess my questions are: Have you used one? Experience? Website purchased through?

I’ve never had the etextbooks, but in my Church I have had callings where I’ve had to have a bunch of manuals and teaching materials on hand plus my scriptures, all of which I had on a PDA. They were in either PDF or Microsoft Reader format, therefore I could print out a page for reference if I needed to or have it read aloud if I was doing somthing else. The only down side is that with standard books I can have several of them opened and in front of me, where as with the ebooks I have to open a few up and constantly switch between the two. Not that big of a deal, but it can get annoying at times. I personally would love to have all my text books in an ebook format to put onto my Kindle. Carrying a load of books around gives me allot of exercise, but I prefer not to have to carry all of that extra weight if I don’t have to.


Plain ole text books work best for me. However I do perfer them used. Best source for used book are or Amazon, if you can find out the ISBN of the books you need just use that for your search.

Just curious what CC are you attending in Seattle?

Buyback is nothing but a marketing trick. It’s a cheap way for the bookstore to get to sell your book to someone else. That said the drawback to many e-books is that they expire at the end of a specific time period. So, the comparison is - assuming you don’t intend to keep the book - will you save more on the electronic version than you could recoup by reselling the book. You might try searching to research the used market value for that specific title. is a bot that scans several textbook sellers and compiles the results for you - no fee - no risk. Again the ISBN number is the most efficient way to ensure you’re searching for the same edition.

Hey Kimberly!

I just wanted to pop my two cents in. You can also look on eBay for your book, if you have an eBay account established. Just have your ISBN number ready and search eBay with it. There are companies on there that sell new textbooks at great prices and there are students who sell their used textbooks on there too. I’ve not used it to buy textbooks but did sell a couple on there and was happy. Just wanted to pass it on since I do love me some eBay. Mehgan


My sister in-law is a Doctor (Genetics) and for the class she teaches and her opinion, GO TEXTBOOK for what it worth…

In general, I also tend to prefer a real textbook. However, for the situation you described, I would strongly consider the e-book - especially if you can print out portions without spending a lot of money.

Green River Community College. It’s about 10 mins from my house. Whereas, UW is 45 mins or so from MV depending on I-5 traffic. Familiar with the college?

Hey Kim,

It depends on a class. I used a couple of e-books as an undergrad for classes where ‘just reading it once’ was enough to know the material. Public Speaking sounds a little bit like one of these classes to me. But you might have a different learning style.

For all other classes I had ‘real books’. But I never bought them in a campus bookstore. These are usually overpriced. I usually buy used books on amazon. I always buy those described as ‘like new’ or ‘very good’ and I haven’t been disappointed yet.

  • when I know I won’t be using a given book in the future, I sell it back through amazon. Few times I sold it for almost as much as I bought it.


Green River CC, I’m on the other side of the Sound going to Olympic College. Wished I had done some more research before I started classes otherwise I’d be in the Seattle Community College System. Seems like schools in the metro area are more flexible for working adults (gasp…they even offer Chemistry online.)

Good luck and hope to see you at UW next summer.

Wow chemistry online? Hmm…Sounds interesting?


Hey, what are your stats? Credits and/or previous degrees?? Hope all is well!

That’s what I was thinking when I looked at the course list. Spoke to the science department adviser at UW and was assured that it is a challenging class and most students that transfer into UW from the Seattle CC system do well in OChem. Most lectures are online with a weekly/ bi weekly lab on campus that’s staffed from 9 am - 9 pm. Talk about convenient for the working student.