I'm broke! How 'bout you?

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I'm broke! How 'bout you?

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Jan 25, 2008, 7:34pm

I just spent about $230 on books for the term, with 5 more left to buy.

I know the sciences always end up trumping us humanities people in book prices, but that's a fair amount of money when you only make around $100 a week.

How much do you usually spend on books?

2christychesnet Primeira Mensagem
Jan 25, 2008, 8:24pm

I think last semester it was $150 for me. I buy all mine on half.com though and got some awesome deals. That includes some that I had to buy for just my research, and not for the class itself.

But you are right about the broke thing.

Jan 25, 2008, 8:33pm

I've found that in grad school I have to buy far, far fewer books than in undergrad. The readings tend to be more varied rather than focusing on a single textbook, so we're usually not expected to buy anything.

Jan 25, 2008, 9:26pm

What school do you go to? I am transferring there! If only to avoid getting my spine realigned in future because my bag is so full of huge, heavy books!

Jan 25, 2008, 9:47pm

University of Toronto, for Classics.

I'm actually sort of disappointed, though--I liked having an excuse to buy books!

Jan 25, 2008, 9:54pm

#3: Same thing for me here, and at the school where I did my master's, as well. In fact, I have not been required to buy a book for my classes since Fall '06. (Though I do buy books anyway, when I find them at what I deem to be a reasonable price.)

Occasionally I have a class in which copy costs get expensive, when there's a large bibliography of articles that aren't available on JSTOR or through some other electronic avenue.

Jan 26, 2008, 8:13pm

I can't believe it! My school must be in the stone age or something! But I guess it would be really weird for Literature folks to not have books. Of course, now I have more anthologies and readers than I know what to do with.

Jan 27, 2008, 2:52am

That is pretty amazing, not having to buy books! This semester, for my three classes, I have to buy 25 books and a reader.
That doesn't include the online reader and other readings I have to print out each week.

I guess you're right, christychesnet - that's what I get for taking lit classes. ;-D

Jan 27, 2008, 7:17pm

Last semester I got away with checking all of my books out from the library. This semester has not been so fortunate (almost $80 for a Folklore reader), but at least I got about 6 books for free for the class I am teaching, the students in the class ended up paying almost $200 for all of them. (which I guess isn't so bad for undergraduates considering how much science and math textbooks cost, but still....)

Jan 29, 2008, 5:51pm

Timely thread. I just determined this afternoon that after my two latest checks clear, I'll have $5.97 in the bank.

Jan 29, 2008, 10:06pm

But I guess it would be really weird for Literature folks to not have books.

What kind of books do you have to buy, though? I always thought literature would involve reading... well, classic literature, and that it would be available at every library and cheaply at used bookstores.

Jan 31, 2008, 2:23am

Oh wait ... did I say 25 books? I meant 28.

I don't know about "actual" Lit. people, but as an MFA, most of my books are obscure poetry books, some of which are quite possibly out of print.
As for the library, well, the ones that are there have been taken out indefinitely by the professor. :-P

Jan 31, 2008, 3:06am

Wow, Alarob, that is really pitiful.

But, optimistically speaking, you're still in the black, eh, love?

*So says the girl with a whopping ten-spot in her wallet. ; )

Fev 1, 2008, 8:17am

The cheapest food in the market is the worst for you... Grad students must be the unhealthiest people around!

Our diets are deplorable, we barely sleep, and we are stressed and overwhelmed most of the time. They should put warning labels on grad school applications.

Editado: Fev 1, 2008, 8:37am

If it makes you feel any better, as the father of a graduate student, and of an about-to-be undergraduate, I can barely remember ending the month with a plus sum in my bank account!

Fev 5, 2008, 9:20pm

Literature folks usually have to buy anthologies or readers. Classic lit is available everywhere, but 1) you can't write in library books and 2) every student in the class has to have the same book, or we would all be flipping through the pages saying "where are we at?" So we can't buy them at a used book store unless they have 10 copies.

It really sucks we can't do that though, because books are not cheap and we have to buy so many of them!

Editado: Fev 6, 2008, 12:28am

I'm in my final semester of my MFA, so I have no new books to purchase since I'm only working on my thesis credits. That said, I did plunk down for a new desktop system to help me out with it.

As for picking up obscure poetry and prose on the cheap, I've always found http://www.bookcloseouts.com and http://www.half.com helpful.

And yes, I'm broke, broke, broke. I'm planning my wedding in June (one month after graduation) and that's left both me and my fiancee pretty much strapped.

Fev 6, 2008, 10:38pm

Cash flow! My second semester course fees were due the same month my income taxes were (for which I paid an advance on next year's taxes as well, since this is my first year working in this city)--so very tight this month!!! I had to borrow from the bank, and shamefully, my partner...

Things should look better next month. I'm working full-time so that makes the money side easier, but then I scrabble for time and energy.

Fev 9, 2008, 11:33am

Ugh fees are the biggie for me and travel.
I don't have to buy too many books, no classes = no required reading plus I get a small allowance from my department which I can use either to go to conferences or to buy books so it is only the utterly essential to my research that I splash out on.

Fev 15, 2008, 1:25pm

In classes where being on the same page at the same time is not required or where a prof throws out "It might be a good idea to read...." statements, I have had some luck with the texts at http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page. The text formats can be pretty raw, but it has saved me a few times when I needed to track down some readings in a hurry and had no money.

Editado: Mar 11, 2008, 4:40pm

Yeah, I use a lot of online texts -- Orb and Luminarium have links as well as gutenberg project. ALSO, surprisingly, wikipedia sometimes has text links at the bottom of the listing. I can't remember when I've had an anthology though -- grad students have antholgies???? I have had professor-put-together packets to pay the school for and many, many copies of obscure LONG out of print texts. I did buy one for my current and LAST class but it was because I wanted it to keep.
I also was in a class for which the professor said "bring in the edition of your choice and we'll compare editions". That was fun. Some of them were a LOT different.

AND still I'm broke! And I really need a Riverside Chaucer which is about $100 (Haven't been able to find a decent used copy at a reasonable price) and that Liuzza book that is out of print on the Old English gospels.

Abr 10, 2008, 9:16pm

''I have had some luck with the texts at http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page.''

Glad to hear someone else has done that. That's how I finally read Uncle Tom's Cabin for a course on the American Civil War.

Abr 17, 2008, 4:42am

Hey Stargazer,

So this quarter was the cheapest since I spent only 64 dollars on books. Every other class I'm in had no books--only one class needed books.
Thank the literary gods.

At least next year for my thesis year all I need to do is apply ass to seat and type.

Abr 18, 2008, 4:59pm

And buy all the books you can't find anywhere else for your thesis ;-)

Abr 19, 2008, 11:36am

Re 23 & 24: Unless warrick's thesis is one of those that requires no research (i.e. creative project)... :)

Abr 21, 2008, 1:16pm

Yep. Creative project. So thus library time and I just sit and write. Hurray MFA.

Abr 21, 2008, 3:06pm

No books at all?? What kind of classes are you taking? I even have books for the class I'm not taking (the TA class). I didn't have to buy them, but I still have to read them.

Abr 21, 2008, 7:18pm

Lucky, lucky, smart warrick!! Mine are all obscure, out of print, find at K-zoo, pay a fortune for, hard to find tomes.

Abr 29, 2008, 4:36am

As for classes, the fiction class I'm in, all our readings are online pdfs and Abani almost never assigns books, so hurray for that. Susan was the only one I had to get books for. The class I TA for, the book was given to me for free--sorta it just came out of my paycheck.

Luckily my topic for my creative thesis is covered in tons of books at the library (I'm doing a series of connected poems about memory and memory loss). I mean, IF I ever go for my phd, then it'll all be obscure work where I'll feel the pain (poetry translation).