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We received an email from a high school physics teacher in California. He recommends students check out BookMooch.com. It’s a website that allows you to trade the books you don’t want for books that you do. It’s a pretty cool site if you’re looking to get some free books. Check it out and let us know how it works for you.

Why You Should Talk to Yourself After Studying

The next time you finish studying, Id like for you to give yourself a 5 minute lecture on what you just read.

Yeah, I know it sounds crazy, but just give it a try.

You see, one way to help new ideas cement in your mind is to recite them back to yourself.

If you simply read a textbook passively, you will probably remember less than a third of what you should within a few days. And you will probably remember a lot less two months later.

However, if youre actively reading and reciting key concepts back to yourself it will help connect these ideas to your core memory.

And if youre able to attach these new ideas to subjects you already know well, this will help the new ideas stick in your mind much longer – and much easier.

So talk to yourself after youve studied.

Its a great way to test yourself on what you just read. And it will force your mind to remember more and more each time you study.

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10 Creative Ways to Recycle Old Books

If you have any old books that you never plan on reading again, here are some fun ways to recycle them:

1. Hide stuff in your hollowed out book.
Read tips on how to hollow books with a ruler, pen, box cutter, and Elmers white glue.

2. Make Book Bookends.
Learn how to turn an old textbook into a bookend.

3. Create an invisible book shelf.
Learn how to stack books on your wall without any shelves.

4. Turn a book into a clock.
If you have a book cover you really like, learn how to turn it into a clock.

5. Make a lamp shade out of a book.
Easy way to convert a book into a lamp shade.

6. Turn a book into an iPod case.
Go ahead and stick your headphones into that book. Im not kidding.

7. Make table legs out of books.
Any English Major or grad student has probably countless books stashed in their bookshelves or closet. Learn how to make a table out of books.

8. Make a Lift-the-Flap Book for Toddlers
Kids love board books especially lift-the-flap books. Learn how to make one as a creative gift for that next baby shower or birthday party.

9. Trade your old books for new books.
There are a variety of websites that let you trade books. Check out bookmooch.com, paperbackswap.com, and bookins.com

10. Set a good book free with BookCrossing.com
Over 680,000 people in over 130 countries have decided to let a favorite book go free. You simply register your book – leave it at a favorite coffee shop or wherever – and track its progress. Learn more at BookCrossing.com.

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Where to Buy Cheap College Textbooks – 29 Nifty Websites

Classes are starting up for me this week, so that means I need to start ordering my textbooks.

Buying textbooks is always a pain because of the inflated costs involved.

Last semester, I had to buy a 150-page textbook written by my professor that cost $97 used. And Im sure that cost doesnt surprise you.

Textbook prices are out of control – especially after reading on Digg.com that textbook prices have risen almost 186% since 1986.

However, there are plenty of places online to buy textbooks on the cheap.

Here are 29 places to buy cheap textbooks:

Abebooks.com
Free shipping and a way to shop 13,500 online booksellers at once.

Addall.com
Addall.com compares textbook prices across the web. It provides you with all the fine details – like taxes and shipping involved for each store.

Affordabook.com
Find discounted textbooks and novels.

Alibris.com
Alibris will connect you to independent booksellers across the United States. You can find some great deals here.

Allbookstores.com
Compare prices across hundreds of bookstores affiliated with Allbookstores.com – which looks a bit like Amazon.com.

Amazon.com
Ive bought and sold my textbooks through Amazon.com many times. You can get connected to some independent sellers who offer great rates on used textbooks.

BetterWorld.com
Fund literacy, care for the environment, and save money on textbooks with BetterWorld.com. They even offer free shipping. Check out their prices.

Bigwords.com
This website is a book search engine that aggregates prices of textbooks across the web.

Bookbyte.com
Another website that allows you to buy and sell used textbooks.

BookCloseouts.com
Cross your fingers and pray that you can find a discounted textbook here. You can find some amazing deals.

BookFinder.com
Lifehacker.com recommends this book search engine to find cheap textbooks.

Books-A-Million.com
A site similar to half.com – which allows you to buy discounted textbooks and novels.

BuyUsedTextbooks.com
Buy and sell used textbooks

CampusBooks.com
CampusBooks.com claims to save students 58% on average on textbooks. Prices include tax, shipping and coupons.

CampusBooks4Less.com
Another bookstore search engine to find cheap books.

Campusi.com
This search engine compares textbook prices on over 200 online bookstores.

CollegeSwapShop.com
This nifty website allows you to buy, sell, or swap used textbooks.

CompareTextbooks.com
A cool spot to get price comparisons on your textbooks at different websites.

Chegg.com
Chegg.com allows students to rent college textbooks – instead of paying the high cost of buying them at your campus bookstore.

DirectTextBook.com
This websites compares textbook prices across a bunch of popular online stores like Ebay.com, Half.com, and Amazon.com.

Ebay.com
You might be surprised to find your textbooks on sale at Ebay.

eCampus.com
eCampus.com provides a place to buy and sell discounted textbooks. Youve probably seen their ads in your campus newspaper.

FreeloadPress.com
Ive never used this service, but they offer free textbooks in return for completed surveys. These textbooks have ads in them – which help pay the cost. Leave a comment if this service is legit or not.

Half.com
Ive found some great discounted textbooks here.

Halfvalue.com
This is a typical buy & sell used textbook website.

iChapters.com
Save the environment and your money by purchasing only the book chapters you need to read as an eBook.

Textbookrevolution.org
A website thats beginning to archive links to free textbooks across the web. A very cool project!

TextbookX.com
You may have heard of TextBookX.com because they have a handy Facebook app that allows students to buy and sell directly through your profile. Ive never used this service, but leave a comment if you have. Im curious if it worked for you.

ValoreBooks.com
ValoreBooks.com promises cheap textbooks for students.

And dont forget about these free online textbook resources:

Any other websites you recommend should get added to this list?

How to Start Remembering Everything You Read

Here are some various strategies to help you start remembering what youre reading:

Write Summaries in Your Textbook
Summarizing your reading causes your mind to comprehend, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information better. You’re not just reading information passively, you’re causing your mind to join ideas together so you can condense it down yourself. Write down brief summaries as you read various sections in your textbook.

Say it Out Loud
After reading and writing summaries for about 30 minutes – stop and take a break. Try to recite out loud from memory what you’ve just read. Pretend to give a lecture on what youve read, and do your best to recall what you’ve just summarized. This might be difficult at first, but you’ll get better at it as you keep practicing.

Argue With Your Textbook
Another great way to remember what you’ve read is to start an argument with your textbook. Think critically about everything you’re reading and question concepts that seem foreign to you. Add question marks and underline areas that cause you to question. And make sure to write down questions in your textbook. These are also great questions to pose in class – or to ask your professor during office hours. It shows you’re an active reader.

Create a Mock Essay Exam
After finishing a chapter, write a mock essay exam question about what you’ve just read. And then take 15 to 30 minutes to write a detailed answer to the question from memory. This is a great way to make the information stick.

Record Your Verbal Summaries and Listen

I know this sounds geeky, but I used to record myself summarizing my textbooks. And I would listen to these recordings at night while falling asleep. This is a very easy way to help you memorize a lot of information without even thinking very hard.

The more actively involved you are with your textbook, the more you’ll comprehend and the more interesting you can make your reading experience.

Recommended Reading

Free Downloadable Books for Your iPod

Want to catch up on some reading with your iPod? ManyBooks.net allows you to download tons of great books in a variety of file formats—including iPod notes. So the next time you get caught in class with your iPod, show your teacher how you’re just reading some Aristotle to pass the time.