Most expensive textbooks in Cal Student Store

Joe Wright/File
Joe Wright/File

The Cal Student Store is your one-stop shop for everything you’ll need for the semester. From fancy pens to plastic cups to blankets that say “Go Bears,” you should be able to find everything you need — especially all those nicely priced, inexpensive textbooks. OK, maybe not inexpensive. We all dread the moment when we realize our professor has assigned a textbook they’ve written that also happens to be a special edition, comes with a workbook and costs more than $200. We’ve done the research to find some of the most expensive textbooks for sale at the Cal Student Store, so on the off-chance that you don’t need to buy these, it’ll make you feel a little better about buying $300 worth of textbooks.

“Organic Chemistry: Structure and Function” by Peter Volhardt and Neil Schore; Seventh edition

This wonderful set is mandatory for Chemistry 3A and 3B, so if you’ve decided to pursue your career as a chemist, please bear in mind that it will cost you almost $250 on organic chemistry materials alone. The set comes with a textbook, study guide, solutions manual and a collection of beads that we’re sure serve a very important purpose for chemistry majors. Not only is it incredibly expensive, but it’s recommended that you buy it new, because of the many small parts.

Class: Chemistry 3A and 3B

Price: $231.95 new

“Mas alla de las palabras: Intermediate Spanish” by Smith, Godev, Kelly, and Scott; Second edition

Apparently, textbook sets are all the rage because this beauty costs $200 and includes a textbook and activities manual. Once again, you’re putting your life on the line if you try to buy it used, because who knows how many past Spanish students have doodled all over the pages? Do you trust your fellow Bears enough to leave you an unscathed used version? It’s your life; we’re not here to judge. Who knows, maybe a used version will have all the right answers and you can pull a Half-Blood Prince.

Class: Spanish 3

Price: $202.95 new

“Reseau” by Jean Marie Schultz and Marie-Paule Tranvouez

“Reseau” is needed for all you French 3 and 4 fanatics. For a crisp $225, you’ll get a textbook, activities manual and answer key. As an added bonus, you can only buy this textbook set new! What a deal! We’ve begun to notice a trend of tightly vacuum-wrapping textbook sets in plastic. While it may be a strategic way of keeping these sets together, we believe that something more sinister is afoot. Perhaps the plastic wrap is a device to trick the buyer into believing that these books are precious. Unlike all those other nonwrapped textbooks, these ones are extra-special. And extra-expensive.

Class: French 3 and French 4

Price: $225 new

“Pearson Custom Business Resources” by Steven Wood

Although this book is less than $200, it makes our list because it’s truly one-of-a-kind. Steven Wood, the professor, wrote this book. Not only that, but it’s a custom edition, specifically for the spring 2016 macro analysis class that he’s teaching. Basically, the book’s only good to use for him so it has virtually no resale value. You can rent it for $5 fewer. The savings are unimaginable! If you’re taking Economics 100B, then you’ve just purchased yourself a nice reference book for the rest of your life. Be sure to thank Professor Wood.

Class: Economics 100B

Price: $159.95 new

“Public Finance and Public Policy” by Jonathan Gruber

You’ve been waiting in line for 30 minutes since the Cal Student Store employee asked which book you need. You say, “Econ 131,” and when you get to the checkout counter, resting proudly on top of a stack of books, is the U.S. Capitol building. You are filled with hope. This book will provide you with some insight into public economics like you’ve never seen before. The employee rings you up and says, “$255.” Your heart shatters, the harsh realities of expensive textbooks in a capitalist system that you so want to study have once again forsaken you. You’ve just purchased one of the most expensive textbooks at the Cal Student Store. Already, UC Berkeley has begun teaching you about public economics.

Class: Economics 131

Price: $255 new


Contact Sophia Zepeda at [email protected].