Should I buy a bunch of books?

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Oct 3, 2001
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I'm going to be starting med school in the fall and intend to do well on Step 1. I have a 10% off discount offer for Barnes and Noble that expires in a few days and I was thinking of going ahead and buying a bunch of board review books:

-Lippincott's Ill. Reviews
-High-Yield Series
-Blackwell's Underground Clinical Vignettes
-Board Review Series

Comes out to 32 books for about $750. This strikes me as overkill - what do you think? Should I wait or just buy them all now? Which are the best to get now (I already have First Aid)? Thanks for any advice!


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Aug 24, 2001
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I'm planning on getting any book with an A rating that I will have classes in next year before it starts. You'll get plenty of discounts. Most med schools have discounts at the end of the year when you can get the rest.


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I don't even know where to start with this one. First, there's no way you need or will ever get around to reading all those books. BRS and High Yield cover the same topics, so people use one or the other, depending on the subject and their preference for format. I'm not sure what Lippicott has besides biochem and pharm, but I wouldn't buy those yet either. For pharm, I like Katzung better anyway, and BRS and HY both have biochem, so you'd be stuck with 3 biochem books (a pretty low-yield topic).

Beyond that, I would never buy from Barnes and Noble. I bought the majority of my books from upperclassmen selling their books cheap, or at You can get books in good condition either way, or really cheap books in fairly good condition.

Finally, I can't imagine why you would want all those books now, given that you won't be taking the exam for over 2 years. Think about moving... you'll be lugging 32 unnecessary books all over the place. Trust me, once you start school, you're not going to want to spend an extra time on board review and it wouldn't be worth the time during your first year anyway. M1 subjects are a minimal part of Step 1. At the most, I'd buy review books for anatomy, biochem and phys, but take a look at them to see which style you like best and wait until you get to school because you'll definitely find them cheaper there. And Jalbrekt's right: you'll get discounts better than 10% at and other online bookstores through AMSA if you wait until you get to school (if you insist on buying them new).