College Textbooks, High School Study Guides & Books

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Shmoop Makes Learning More Fun

Shmoop website logoHave you ever wanted to learn about an academic subject – such as literature, economics, Shakespeare, or biology – but did not want to be bored to death as some old professor droned on and on about it? Well have no fear. There’s a new website that will teach you these things while also making you “a better love (of literature, history, life).” It’s called Shmoop.

Shmoop is a website that makes learning and writing more fun and also more relevant for everyone. They do this by reviewing topics that you really care about in a voice that is simple to read and actually pretty funny. They also teach you how to write papers, speak more intelligently in classes, and “make studying less of a snooze-fest.” Sounds like a good thing to me!

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Catholic School Student Runs Illegal Library from Her Locker

Sometimes it makes sense to ban a book from a school library. For example, students should not be reading books about building bombs or any other form of violence in a library that students have access to.

However, does it make sense to ban books such as The Canterbury Tales, Paradis Lost, and Animal Farm? Evidently, one private Catholic school seems to think so because these books go against the school’s religious beliefs.

One student at the school, who is known only by her alias, Nekochan, decided to take action. She recently posted a question on Yahoo Answers to see if people thought it was “OK to run an illegal library from [her] locker at school.” Nekochan explains the situation in more detail in her question:

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Digital Textbooks Are Rising in Popularity Among College Students

The Kno Digital TextbookIf you are buying all of your textbooks in the paper version, you are part of a dwindling group. According to Boston.com, digital versions of textbooks are a growing trend, fueled by the cheaper cost of digital books and the convenience of these educational tools.

“There’s been a boom in digital titles this year,” said Miguel Suarez, the general manager of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s campus bookstore. Suarez said that the percentage of textbooks that are available in the digital format has increased to 25 percent this year; it was only 10 percent last year.

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5 Ways to Save on College Textbooks

Scared to step into your college bookstore? Paying full retail prices for your textbooks can really put a dent in your checking account. There’s no way to avoid buying textbooks. You need them for class, but nobody said you had to pay full price for them.

Read these tips and save big money:

Shop online: Usedtextbooks.net is a great place to find used textbooks online. The website searches other websites selling used textbooks and finds you the best price. All you need to do is search for the textbook by its ISBN to get the perfect match. I personally have saved up to 90 percent by using this website.

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Textbooks on the Kindle Are Cheaper and Lighter to Carry

If you are a tech-savvy college student, then this is some news that will make you smile: textbooks are now being offered on Amazon’s Kindle and they are cheaper than the paper versions of the books.

Amazon recently announced plans to offer several textbooks on their popular e-reader tablet, the Kindle. As of July 24, 2011, Amazon has 29,342 textbooks available for instant purchase and download on the Kindle. Some of the more popular books that are currently available including Washington’s Crossing (Pivotal Moments in American History), Attachment in Psychotherapy, and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave Written by Himself.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II Leaves Fan Completely Satisfied

I first met Harry Potter when I was nine-years old during reading-time in my fourth grade class. For me, it was love at first sight, and I’m sure Harry would have felt the same if he were not a fictional character.  The story of a boy who was around my age but had to face dragons, monsters, and a mass murderer within his first year deeply enthralled me, and although he certainly was much braver than I was, I felt a connection to Harry because we both had a very cruel and scary teacher (I referred to my teacher as “Snape” behind his back for the rest of my elementary school career).

Flash forward a few years and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was in the movie theaters. Ever since the first movie, I have been in line on the opening day (or at midnight, as the movies progressed) in order to watch my beloved characters fight evil while also having a few laughs along the way. So, obviously, as soon as I got off work on July 14, 2011, I headed to my local theater and joined the hundreds of other people who were standing in line, waiting to get a good seat for the premiere of the final Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows, Part II.

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Grin.com Lets Students Earn Money for Their Assignments

Many students who are pursuing their master’s degree or doctorate degree can probably relate to this situation: After four years of undergraduate work, at least two years of graduate work, endless hours spent devoted to selecting the perfect thesis and even more endless hours actually writing the thesis paper, you turn the project that has consumed your life for the past several years in to a professor who reads it, grades it, and then never glances at it again. What a complete let down! However, a new website is giving these hardworking souls something to grin about, and it is so proud of it’s ability to do so, that it is simply called Grin.com.

Grin.com is an online community of authors, students, professors, and millions of users who come together to share their knowledge. Grin.com was created by Europeans who wanted to allow anyone to publish their works online as books or ebooks so that they could make a monetary profit off of all their hard work. This allows writers to become published authors, a process that can be very difficult, expensive, and time-consuming when you use a traditional publishing house. With Grin.com, all a person has to do upload their book to the server, and if it is accepted, they automatically earn 10 Euros and their paper is published on the website.

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CampusBooks Can Save You Money When Shopping for Textbooks

Buying a book for your college classes can be stressful. You have to drive from local bookstore to local bookstore, search the best rental companies, and even surf Amazon.com or Half.com to find the best price for your books. The entire process of comparing books at every venue becomes frustrating.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could just tell someone what book you are looking for and then that person would find the cheapest option for you? Well, I haven’t found a person to do that yet, but I have found an iPhone and Android app that will.

CampusBooks allows you to scan the bar code of any book that you are looking for and it will instantly bring up a list of the cheapest bookstores and online websites where you can buy the book. Or if you do not have the book in front of you where you can scan the bar code, you can type in the name of the book, ISBN, author, or keywords to find what you are looking for.

Another very cool feature of this app is that it has GPS technology that shows you which bookstores are closest to you so that you do not have to drive all over town, searching for the bookstore that promises to save you the most money. This app also has a feature that lets you sell your books, allowing you to earn money from this app instead of spending money on it.

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Take a Trip Down Memory Lane with This Summer Reading List

Nobody likes taking an English class in the fall because we all know that this means we will get a long list of books that we have to read during the summer to prepare for the class. Now don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy reading a good book, but being forced to read some Victorian novel every summer and then answer questions about it in the fall? That’s not nearly as appealing.

So, what if we made our own summer reading list? Sounds like a good idea to me. And since I just graduated from college and am feeling a bit nostalgic for my younger years, I thought a reading list of books from my childhood would be a fantastic way to avoid thoughts of being a grown up. If you are in a similar situation (or just want some fun books to read) check out this Summer Reading List: A Trip Down Memory Lane.

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Applying to College? Start with Financial Aid

The Finacial Aid Handbook book cover by Stack and VedvikA college’s financial aid policy isn’t usually the first thing students consider when looking for colleges. Students look at the programs offered, the location, the school’s reputation and campus culture. They usually think of the schools they apply to as either “reach” schools or “safety” schools.

Carol Stack and Ruth Vedvik, authors of The Financial Aid Handbook: Getting the Education You Want for the Price You Can Afford, recommend that students consider two more important categories: funded and unfunded. “Funded” colleges and universities are the ones that will give you a significant amount of scholarship money and “unfunded” colleges are the ones that won’t. Vedvik and Stack make a strong argument for not applying for unfunded programs, regardless of a school’s reputation.

Stack and Vedvik have written a book not only to help students find financial aid, but to also pick the colleges that will provide financial aid. As both tuition and student debt rise, this advice could not be more timely.

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