Sunday, August 21, 2005

Rebundling Books and Unintentionally Buying the Same Book Twice

I hate rebundling! This is when the content of a book is republished under a new title. Often there is no notation in other editions that the contents of the book were previously published under a different title.

An example is that a publisher may publish a series of history books divided by time period, and then sell a large book with the contents of all of the series inside of it. One example is the Kingfisher History of the World.

I was just looking at my math materials trying to decide if I was ready to sell some of the items that I had never used, and realized I had two books by the same publisher, with different titles. I took them out and realized that the interior content was identical. This was a case of rebundling. I had not realized this when I re-purchased the more recent book. The cover was updated, more colorful, had a color photo on it and also had a new title. To boot the older published version had one teacher’s manual and one book for the student to use. The new published version had no mention of what the book was, although it was the student book. It appears that they may have gotten rid of the teacher’s manual entirely. I compared the pages side by side and there don’t appear to be any changes, the interior pages are identical right down to the page number (except for the changed title). I feel duped!

The crazy thing is that I bought both from the same homeschool supply catalog, in different years. One I purchased in 2001 with the intent of using it during my older son’s Preschool or Kindergarten year. I ended up using Math-U-See instead, with great success. I saved the book to use with my younger son (or any subsequent children I may have).

But instead of committing to using what was on my shelf, I then was tempted by the wonderful catalog description of the item and bought it again, in 2003, intended to be used in either my younger son’s preschool-age 4 year or Kindergarten year. Because I had never opened book #1, I had not realized I was rebuying the same book, plus of course, I was duped by the new title!

This is a case of being tempted by catalogs rather than really getting to know or even trying what is already on my own shelves first. Perhaps if I was more familiar with the book/product, I’d have recognized it. I can’t believe I did this! (It is one thing to make a mistake over a 25 or 50 cent library sale purchase but another thing entirely to re-buy a $23 book.)

I guess I will try and resell the newer version as perhaps I can get more money for it than I would the older version. Wish me luck.

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