Collage of textbook covers

Top 10 Most Valued Textbooks

The cost of college textbooks has escalated dramatically in the past three and a half decades, increasing more than 800 percent, and students are feeling the financial pinch. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group reported 70 percent of surveyed students at more than a dozen colleges did not purchase required textbooks because they couldn’t afford the high price. In some cases, this is as much as 75 percent of the average tuition rate. Many students are searching for less-expensive options, such as buying popular textbooks from discount retailers — like TextbookRush — online.

This article includes a brief description of the 10 top-selling textbooks and at least one career path for students taking a course using the text. All 10 are for lower level courses and some may apply to general education core requirements.

1. “Engineering Mechanics: Statics”
Engineering Mechanics: Statics Foundational courses for physics majors include a plethora of mathematics courses. Statics studies typically follow basic linear algebra and coincide with courses on electromagnetics. A search of best-selling textbooks related to physics will naturally include “Engineering Mechanics: Statics,” as this book provides ample study problems that allow students to test their understanding of basic concepts and expand their skills with practice exercises.

Publisher: PEARSON
Author: Hibbler, Russell C.
ISBN: 9780133918922

2. “Human Anatomy & Physiology”
Human Anatomy & Physiology Students interested in working in the health care industry, especially those preparing for careers on the front lines working with patients, launch their educational journey with a host of core-concept courses. The study of human anatomy and physiology is one of those core courses. Nurse anesthetists and midwives often take basic courses early in their education.

Publisher: PEARSON
Author: Marieb, Elaine Nicpon
ISBN: 9780321927040

3. “Principles of Chemistry: A Molecular Approach”
Principles of Chemistry: A Molecular Approach Chemistry is one of those core courses that is required for a variety of degree plans. This textbook introduces students to key concepts and processes related to organic and inorganic chemistry, analyzing compounds and using standard laboratory equipment. If the goal is to become a practicing chemist, students will need a bachelor’s degree — and some positions require advanced degrees.

Publisher: PEARSON
Author: Tro, Nivaldo J.
ISBN: 9780321971944

4. “Introductory Statistics”
Introductory Statistics As a discipline, statistics is concerned with aggregation, review and interpretation of data. This text also highlights the importance of effective communication and disbursement of study findings. Basic statistics courses empower students to work toward careers in science, medicine, nonprofit management and public policy.

Publisher: PEARSON
Author: Weiss, Neil
ISBN: 9780321989178

5. “Psychological Science”
Psychological Science Students need to learn how to critically view data and information they are exposed to every day. This textbook revolves around core principles that explain how people think and the processes they use to analyze the world around them. Psychological reasoning is beneficial in every career and throughout the educational journey.

Publisher: NORTON
Author: Gazzaniga, Michael
ISBN: 9780393937497

6. “Essentials of Abnormal Psychology”
Essentials of Abnormal Psychology Durand covers the complexities of abnormal psychology through an integrative-approach lens. Students will learn about factors that affect mental health, including cultural, social, political and biological influences. This entry-level text is typically used in general education classes and lower level course work for students pursuing careers in health and wellness.

Publisher: CENGAGE
Author: Durand, V. Mark
ISBN: 9781305094147

7. “Entrepreneurship Successfully Launching New Ventures”
Entrepreneurship Successfully Launching New Ventures Entrepreneurial spirit thrives on today’s campuses and students who want to start their business or work toward a business leadership degree can benefit from learning the basic steps to start a new business with “Entrepreneurship Successfully Launching New Ventures.” The book presents a simple, four-step guide for starting a new business and applicable tips that help new owners learn from mistakes by identifying both successes and failures, in the process.

Publisher: PEARSON
Author: Barringer, Bruce R.
ISBN: 9780133797190

8. “Algebra and Trigonometry”
Algebra and Trigonometry A key review resource for students who need a refresher course that includes basic concepts, including real numbers, algebra and geometry essentials, rational expressions and synthetic division. The book moves forward covering equations and inequalities, graphs, logarithmic and trigonometry functions. It also prepares students for enrollment in higher level, career math courses necessary to pursue degrees in business management, accounting, the teaching profession and numerous other majors.

Publisher: PEARSON
Author: Sullivan, Michael
ISBN: 9780321998590

9. “Earth: Portrait of a Planet”
Earth: Portrait of a Planet Students interested in a career in geology will enjoy working their way through Marshak’s entry-level book that creates a “geologist’s view” with stunning photos, graphics and online tools for visual learners. Students who achieve their bachelor’s degree may apply for geoscientist positions. These jobs have a median annual salary of $90,890 and jobs in this field are expected to grow by 16 percent between 2012 and 2022.

Publisher: NORTON
Author: Marshak, Stephen
ISBN: 9780393937503

10. “Understanding Nutrition”
Understanding Nutrition Nutritional courses prepare students for diverse career paths that include nursing, behavioral counseling, personal training, child care management, and institutional food and beverage services. “Understanding Nutrition” is a valuable foundational resource used to introduce basic concepts of nutrition and helps students explore and understand nutritional applications.

Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
Author: Whitney, Eleanor Noss
ISBN: 9781285874340

Getting the Most Value for Entry-Level Textbooks
The costs of buying textbooks continues to rise, but you can find new and used books within your major by searching for best-selling books by subject at discounted rates on our website. After completing your core classes, sell your books immediately after the semester ends to get the best prices and defray the costs of books for the next term.


About the author

Alison Blankenship
Senior Marketing Manager
I graduated Cum Laude from The Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with degrees in Marketing and Communications. I’ve been working in the textbook industry for over 10 years, and my work has been featured by College Confidential, Mercy College of Health Sciences, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvania Tribune, Montana Technological University, Oregon Live, and other organizations.

I’m an obsessive lover of dachshunds and a passionate reader of books. I’m an avid Pinner and poster, and I’m all over our Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram and Pinterest.