Textbooks are fucking expensive, and if your professor doesn’t require a physical copy (most don’t - they just want you to have the book at hand. Or maybe even not. Some professors literally give no fucks about whether you have the book or not) and you don’t mind having your copy as an electronic copy - this is the post for you!
Most textbook companies put out new editions every year or so even though there isn’t really that much new information. Sometimes they’ll eliminate questions if it’s something like a math or chemistry book or they’ll add in a few sentences about updated legislation (the professor I work for teaches human sexuality, and the newest edition of the book she uses included the 2009 decision to allow same-sex couples have hospital visitation rights). These new editions are pointless and only created to make the textbook company money and to cut down on students selling to each other. You’re going to ignore that. We love older editions. Make sure when you’re searching on the following sites that you don’t include the edition number to give you more search results. If one with your edition comes up - great! If not, you can usually stick to something one to three editions behind without any major changes.
Sites you should be searching:
FilesTube - FilesTube searches THE ENTIRE INTERNET for files uploaded to file-sharing websites such as MegaUpload, Mediafire, or WuUpload. Sometimes people will upload pdf files of your textbook. This is always an important first search.
Google Books - You usually won’t find your textbook on Google Books, but it’s always worth a look. Sometimes pages are missing because it’s only a preview of the book, but again - always worth a look.
Scribd - People upload documents to Scribd and by becoming a member (free!) or connecting through Facebook (if you’re lazy!), you can download whatever files you may find. This sometimes includes textbooks.
BookBoon - website specifically for finding pdf versions of textbooks
TorrentScan - textbooks are also uploaded to torrent sites in some cases - you may as well check.
If push comes to shove, you can try variations of googling “textbook name torrent” or “textbook name download” or “textbook name download free.” Sometimes things pop up and I never would have known about them.
LibraryPirate is a torrent search site specifically for textbooks. (Added 10 October 2011)
JenkThat - I haven’t tried this out yet, but I’ve heard good things from others. It’s also a good place to find other ebooks that aren’t textbooks. (Added 29 December 2011)
I’ve found all 8 of my textbooks for this term (19 credit hours, six classes) through one of the methods above. I’m not even going to look at retail prices, but checking BigWords.com (which, if you want to buy your books/can’t find them anywhere with one of the previous methods, will give you the cheapest price on the internet), I saved $497.87 by doing this. It takes time, but it’s definitely worth almost $500 worth of time. If you know of more ways to find free textbooks - please let me know!
I am mainly preoccupied with the world as I experience it, and at times when I would rather be dead the thought that I could never write another poem has so far stopped me. I think this is an ignoble attitude. I would rather die for love, but I haven’t.
I don’t think of fame or posterity (as Keats so grandly and genuinely did), nor do I care about clarifying experiences for anyone or bettering (other than accidentally) anyone’s state or social relation, nor am I for any particular technical development in the American language simply because I find it necessary. What is happening to me, allowing for lies and exaggerations which I try to avoid, goes into my poems. I don’t think my experiences are clarified or made beautiful for myself or anyone else; they are just there in whatever form I can find them. What is clear to me in my work is probably obscure to others, and vice versa. My formal ‘stance’ is found at the crossroads where what I know and can’t get meets what is left of that I know and can bear without hatred. I dislike a great deal of contemporary poetry—all of the past you read is usually quite great—but it is a useful thorn to have in one’s side.
It may be that poetry makes life’s nebulous events tangible to me and restores their detail; or conversely, that poetry brings forth the intangible quality of incidents which are all too concrete and circumstantial. Or each on specific occasions, or both all the time.
”—Frank O’Hara, “Statement for The New American Poetry” (via sonofapritch)
“And what is death, he asked, your mother’s or yours or my own? You saw only your mother die. I see them pop off every day in the Mater and Richmond and cut up into tripes in the dissectingroom. It’s a beastly thing and nothing else. It simply doesn’t matter.”—Ulysses
“Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.”—Douglas Adams