# Inexpensive Math Books

I am a college student with a limited budget looking to find an inexpensive way to collect high-level mathematics textbooks. I have access already to quite a few, both online and physical copies, through my University's website, but I am trying to get copies for myself so I can take notes in them, and I find I learn better from physical copies. Many introductory books are not too expensive for me, especially the Dover and (some of the) Springer series, but many books in the area I'm researching with a professor (Geometric Group Theory and Algebraic Topology) are on the $100+ range, and one book I would find very useful to have a hard copy of, A Primer on Mapping Class Groups, is over \$60 (by Farb and Margalit, I believe), which is still beyond my price point. I would appreciate any information on websites/bookstores where such books might be sold cheaply or even exchanged for other books.

• @İbrahimİpek to quote the question: "I have access already to quite a few, both online and physical copies, through my University's website, I am trying to get copies for myself so I can take notes in them, and I find I learn better from physical copies." The OP is trying to get personal physical copies of the books. – Noah Schweber Jul 16 '19 at 20:21
• Oh, i see. Deleted my comment now – İbrahim İpek Jul 16 '19 at 20:36
• Then maybe you should instead send your online copies to a press company. We do such stuff in Turkey. It is a lot more cheaper than buying the book. – İbrahim İpek Jul 16 '19 at 20:37

Unfortunately there are plenty of books which as far as I know can't be found (in hard copy form) for anything approaching a reasonable price ($$\60$$ being comparatively quite reasonable). In case the text exists freely and legally online, I recommend printing it out - or, more accurately, printing out individual sections as you need them. Eventually you'll have printed out the whole thing - there are then various services to get it bound cheaply. You won't have something fancy, but you will have a hard copy of the text in question which you can mark (and probably will have marked) at will. This still won't be free of course if your university doesn't give you free printing, but even then it will be much cheaper: e.g. at five cents per page, which I think is fairly common, you'd get A primer on mapping class groups and Hatcher's algebraic topology for about $$\55$$ total.

Now what if the cost of printing winds up being prohibitive (or there's some other reason that's not feasible for you - maybe you have free printing but an enforced page limit)? You can in principle talk to your relevant professor about them printing sections out for you, clarifying that there is a genuine financial issue for you. I believe professors get free printing (certainly that's true at my institution), and while there are putative limits they don't seem to be enforced. However, without knowing the professor(s) in question I should point out that this may be risky - I have seen one or two people react negatively to being asked (although personally I find that response odd).

I don't know if it's ethical or not but you can access the Low Price Edition Books which are manufactured for developing countries by asking a friend or relative to ship it. It's very much cheaper but it has relatively bad paper quality at times and the text isn't coloured mostly. Also they are available for limited books and I checked there isn't one for the book you're searching.

You can also try Libgen.io and access PDFs of archived books and get them printed yourself if you're more comfortable with hardcopies.