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Getting angry

Sep - 9 - 2006
Nicole C. Engard

I have been trying to buy my textbooks for classes for the last 3 weeks, but Drexel does not make it easy – in fact they make it down-right difficult. First of all they “require” you to buy your books from their bookstore – how? Well you search for your class and section (using the most idiotic interface ever) and then you see the required texts – but you don’t see all of the info you need. You see the last name of the author and an abbreviated title. No edition, No ISBN, nothing that will make it easy to find the book elsewhere.

So I search the library to see what books they have for those classes – I find the ISBNs and email the professors to find out what the right ISBN is. One professor replies within minutes the others I wait for – finally I get an answer from another professor (still no word from the last – and I got a read-receipt for the email I sent). Now I have 2 definite ISBNs and 1 possible ISBN. I search online – I do Ebay, Amazon, ABE, Half, and BigWords. One of the books I need is supposed to have a CD with it – none of the above-mentioned sites says that there is a CD with it. The book in question is listed for $190 at the school bookstore and $60 on ABE – where would you buy it???

Anyway, I’m waiting to hear back from some sellers about the CD, all the while getting more and more frustrated that this information was not made clear in the first place!!

[update] Just got an email back from the instructor – CD is not necessary – so I’m off to buy my books. Saving myself over $100 by not shopping in the bookstore! [/update]

8 Responses so far.

  1. [...] I have mentioned before that one of the most problematic things to deal with when taking classes online is the textbook issue. It is often difficult to get the information on the required texts in time to actually get them before the start of the semester – especially for the spring semester. I am currently still waiting for my last textbook to arrive – and am not able to complete all of my current reading assignments because of it. With these frustrations in mind, I definitely felt tons of empathy for Nicole Engard, from What I Learned Today. In a post entitled, Getting angry, Nicole vents about her textbook problems. I have to say that I don’t think my problems are nearly as bad. I can’t believe that the school, the ILS department or the bookstore doesn’t give enough information so that students can find the books someplace outside of the bookstore. It is outrageous to have to email professors in order to ask them to give you the required texts – and is downright wrong to try and force students to buy the texts from the bookstore. Prices are generally so much higher at the bookstore than other online sources. [...]

  2. I hope that you will let us know if your plan to have your advisor help get information on your textbooks works – I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you. There has to be an easier way to deal with books.

  3. Nicole says:

    I agree that there should be an easier way – but we do what we have to to get the job done – right?

  4. Kim says:

    I’m starting at Drexel this upcoming semester as well, and I was able to get the appropriate ISBNs from the bookstore. After finding the lack of info on the bookstore site, I called with my class info and got what I needed (though the two people I spoke with on the phone weren’t too pleasant). Now if the one book just wasn’t backordered…

  5. Nicole says:

    I bet it’s the same book I have backordered!! Are we in the same class?

    I’m in:


    Anyway, thanks for the info about the bookstore – I guess I just assumed that they wouldn’t help because they want me to buy from them.

  6. Kim says:

    I am in 520, just in section 501 on campus (and I’m in 510 online, but section 903). So we just missed each other. We both are probably missing _Complete Copyright_. I was able to get a copy through my library for perusing and it might tide me over for a week or two. I’ve finally got professors showing up for my classes, so I feel better about that…now if they’d just let me into Blackboard! :-)

  7. Erica says:

    I ended up getting the Complete Copyright book from the ala bookstore.

    (and we’re in 510 and 520 together!)

  8. Nicole says:

    That’s great – nice to “meet” you! The ALA bookstore has the book for $5 more than the Drexel Bookstore – I’ll just keep my fingers crossed for now.

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