1) My degree demands me to have around 50 lbs. of new books and reading each year. Second-hand books are not possible for my subject that changes every year.

2) The total cost of all this material is around $5000 USD.

3) I must have all this material with me while I travel repeatedly between North America and England during my degree, and I cannot afford exorbitant shipping or airline baggage fees each time.

I suffer from an eye condition that forbids reading on screen for long times. Thus buying the PDF versions for these books is not a possibility. What else can I do?

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    Buying two sets of the books is probably much cheaper than shipping them around the world repeatedly. Especially if you can buy them used, and if there is a resale market for the books so that you can sell back one or both sets afterwards. – ff524 Sep 28 '16 at 3:59
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    If you bought the PDF versions you could print out just the pages you are planning to read this week. – Patricia Shanahan Sep 28 '16 at 4:03
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    Find a library in both locations that has some or all of the books (or that you can convince to purchase the books). (Or a friend or colleague). Not sure what kind of solution you are looking for.... – ff524 Sep 28 '16 at 4:05
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    Invest in a Kindle or other similar reader device. It has no backlight so it is easy on the eyes. – BMD Sep 28 '16 at 5:06
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    Your "degree demands ... around 50 lbs. of new books and reading each year." One estimate puts a 460-page book at a little over 1 lbs and a 735-page book at just under 2 lbs. Thus, based upon a three 12 week semesters, you're required to buy and read (or, at least, skim) some 500-600 pages per week. That seems excessive. Out of curiosity, what are you studying? (I completely understand if you don't want to disclose!) – user2768 Sep 28 '16 at 14:41

I suffer from an eye condition that forbids reading on screen for long times.

The weight and the travel are not the primary problem here. The eye condition is the primary problem, and this way of looking at the situation will give you the key to finding a way to work more comfortably.

In the U.S. the people to talk to are the Student Disability Office at your university. I don't know what the analogous office in the UK is called.

You will be asked to document your eye condition.

Once you're set up with a Section 504 accommodation plan, your university will find solutions. Obvious first choice, audio recordings, if they already exist. To some extent, it would be good to be able to work with digitized PDFs of these readings, which you will keep on a special laptop whose display has been optimized for your particular eye condition.

It used to be, a human reader would record texts for the low vision student. Now, they will set you up with software that reads the text out loud to you.

You need not be legally blind to be in need of accommodations. They will take into account that you can do some reading, but tire more easily than the average student, and need support.

I suppose it's possible the publishers will lend you a second hard copy so that you have one copy in each country. You just have to talk things over with the disability office. You will work together as a team.

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As also suggested in comments, a quality e-ink reader as (for example) the better Kindle models will provide a paper-like experience for your eyes at a limited weight.

PDFs are not the optimal form for that (ebook formats allow re-flowing to have screen-sized full pages at a font size tha't best for your eyes), but it will certainly work; reading hundreds of pages on that is more like reading a book than a screen.

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