View Full Version : Used books - engineering

10-17-2012, 12:06 AM
Howdy folks.

Any suggestions on what to do with used books? Particularly old books from college... These are stacks and stacks of books like control systems engineering, statics, fluid dynamics, and othe stuff like that.

I was gonna try the amazon.com book trade in, but most of the books go for like 15 cents or something silly like that.

Donate them somewhere? firewood?


10-17-2012, 07:36 AM
You won't be able to sell them anywhere unless they are the current edition other than a few cases. I have a 1st edition Engineering EM Fields and Waves by Johnk that still has value, but he only revised it once (he was my fields 1, 2 and 3 prof and that book means a lot to me). We still have a stack we don't need anymore, materials books, thermo, an ASTM weldability, duplicates of calc, physics, chem, etc. that I dunno what to do with. I tried giving them away here, on Craigslist, at a couple of garage sales. It's depressing that there seems to be so few people interested. Shrug.

10-17-2012, 08:24 AM
Hey Dave, I'd like to check out your ASTM weldability book. Might be interesting for me.

I dunno about you Marco, but my statics, thermo, fluids, and heat transfer books from college still come in handy at times.

But then there are others that I think are worth little more than scrap. Shoulda sold them back when I had the change in college.

10-17-2012, 08:53 AM
Probably just keep them for reference in case you need them. I have a few myself that will probably just take up book shelf space for the next few decades.


Donate them to a public library and take a tax deduction?

10-17-2012, 08:58 AM
I have two boxes of text books from getting my engineering degree. have only really used one since and that was the basic electronics one dealing with transistors, caps, inductors. I have actually used that book several times over the years. Stats, Laplase Transforms, Calculus, Control Theory etc have not been opened in the 30 years (YIKES) since I graduated

10-17-2012, 09:04 AM
Curbside recycling is where most of mine have ended up. Should have traded them in at the end of each semester I guess. :o

10-17-2012, 09:05 AM
The last time I used most of them for reference was on the P.E. exam, which was 5 years ago and that was because you can't use a computer... In the real world datasheets and design papers are PDFs from the Internets. It's ironic, my most used books (4th edition Radiotron, Cherry & Hooper, etc.) are from the 1940s and 1950s which was the heyday of vacuum tubes. Even those for the most part have been scanned into PDFs now. Schools and libraries don't want dusty old relics, I got most of my vintage books from these places. LOL!

10-17-2012, 09:18 AM
I kept my Physics, Calculus, and Statics/Dynamics books from college, and my children are now old enough that I can expose them to this kind of stuff and say 'this is why math matters' and 'this is what you can do with an engineering degree'. It's all available online, but at least I know where to find things in the books I have. Someday, I suspect much of it will get dumped.

10-17-2012, 05:31 PM
Hmm... well, I haven't used them in 15 or so years. I kinda feel like I might not ever need them. I open them up every once in a while for small projects and usually end up resorting to online sources. The books seem to be pretty abstract sometimes.

Plus, I feel like I have been getting dumber over the years and the books now seem over my head.

I do more project/people management in my engineering job than actual design work so no need for them here. I do more challenging design stuff at home for little projects.

Crap, maybe i'll just keep them.