Last semester, I had one textbook. I remembered textbook costs being astronomical when I was an undergrad, so I was pleasantly surprised that I only had to drop €30 on one book.
This semester is more complicated. In two of my courses we are reading a book each week, and in a third course the professor is e-mailing PDFs that he is scanning from the out-of-print book he wants to use for the course. It is so much more complicated than it needs to be.
I’m trying to get into a routine and – most importantly – stay on top of the reading, but right now, things are weird. I have this web stretching from the college library to the city library to my Kindle to my iPhone to Charlie Byrne’s to the campus bookstore to the college library’s website and back again.
For today’s reading, one professor said he would make copies of the excerpts he wanted us to read, but the copier broke so he couldn’t make enough copies. I found the books he was using in the campus library and the city library, but I didn’t know which passages he had assigned so I just started reading the complete books. I read much more than I needed to, and it was tough to bring my thoughts back to the specific passages we were discussing in class.
It is nice that half of the books are in the public domain, but in order to get the free Kindle version, I have to pay the international delivery charge because my Kindle is registered in the States. The charge is usually about $3 and for some reason Amazon always sends a nasty message to my Kindle reminding me that I have a monthly limit on download charges. I can get the same public domain books free on my iPhone, but I haven’t tried reading on that yet.
I go to Charlie Byrne’s every couple of days and squirrel away a few of the books on the syllabi. I’ll go in at some point and make a big credit card purchase. I guess the rest will come from the campus bookstore.
It’s a pain. Today, for example, I finally got confirmation that I get to take the class that was giving me so much trouble last week. Our book for next week is Kim by Rudyard Kipling, which I actually read as an undergrad but I also drank a lot as an undergrad so I should probably reread it. A group of us went to the college library after class and all the copies were already checked out. Charlie Byrne’s doesn’t have it, so I downloaded it on my iPhone for free. Still, I wanted a hard copy, so I decided to check the city library when I went there for an event tonight. Mistakenly, I sat through my whole event and then approached the lady at the circulation desk, who told me their only copy had just been checked out tonight.