Are books costly at US and is it prudent to carry those from India?
What are the books(list) suggested to carry from India as I am planning to do MS in Computer Science?
Cost of Text Books
Books are expensive in USA when compared to low-cost edition in India.
Text books that cost $3 in India will be like $20 + in USA.
You are going to have space only for 50 to 150 lbs of items to pack in your suitcase depending on your airlines.
With limited weight allowed in airlines for check-in bags, there is only so much you can pack.
I generally don’t recommend students to pack books when they are coming to USA for the first time for few reasons
- Buy Used and Sell Used
- Borrow the books
- Rent the books
- Books change
- Major vs Books
Buy Sell Books
You are going to study 12 to 15 courses. Even if average cost per book is $20 you will pay $300.
Used books in very good condition will be cheaper.
After completing your semester and if you don’t need the books for future reference, you can sell the them.
Amazon make is easier to sell used book. You should be able to sell the books back for $250 to $300.
When I was in school, I paid $30 for a book. Publisher stopped printing that book. I sold the same book for $85 after few years.
You can buy and sell the books in Amazon for no hassle, why waste your suitcase space and weight by carrying books?
Borrow Text Books
It should be easy to find someone who took the same course in previous semester and borrown text books from them.
You could even buy it from them.
There are several websites to rent college text books. I’m not a fan of renting books.
I prefer to buy and sell the books then renting a book.
Books vs Courses
The main reason why I recommend not bring books from India is for this reason.
You don’t know what books will be used for a course.
- Books for courses are recommended by professors who offers the course
- There are no standard set of books
- Different professors will recommend different book for same course
As the reader asked, what books to buy for MS in Computer Science.
Even if you get a list of books for MS in Computer Science for your university, there is very good chance that same books will not be used when you take the courses.
Your Major vs Text Books
For Masters in Computer Science, in any given semester, there will be 10 to 20 graduate level courses. Some universities offer lot more courses.
Mostly you will know what will be your major. You might be thinking about Database (major), but if you change your mind and opt for Computer Networking, books you got for Database will be of no use.
You would wasted few lbs of weight carrying books that you might not use.
Summary – Text Books
- Don’t buy books in India (or your country)
- Buy books only you know for 100% that you will be taking a course that will use the same book.
- Books are expensive, but you can sell them
- Remember your college expenses include text books (not just the tuition fees)
Questions About Books?
Do you have any questions about buying college text books for cheap in USA?