Should I toss my old textbooks or keep them?

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New Contributor
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Should I toss my old textbooks or keep them?

I have 2 old books on SAS, they are from 1995 and 1997. I started off in the Life Sciences back in 1995, then switched to Accounting and Business in 2009. I admit I have not used SAS in a really long time. Should I keep these books or toss them in the recycle bin? How much has SAS changed for running common statistical analyses like regression, correlation, and analysis of variance?

I decided I was better off asking regular users, rather than the company of SAS, who might rather tell me that things are out of date just so they can sell more books. In any case, I notice SAS continues to have a favourable outlook and a steady following for continuing to solve business problems that then present some great opportunities.

Super User
Posts: 17,840

Re: Should I toss my old textbooks or keep them?

Depends on the books. If they're the SAS documentation books then they can hit the recycling bin. If its something like the Statistical Analysis with SAS that covers statistical methods then worth keeping.

SAS hasn't changed significantly for the common procedures but the options have advanced significantly, which is why documentation types book will be out of date but  methods books will not.

Obviously my 5cents (Canadians don't have pennies any more Smiley Happy)

Respected Advisor
Posts: 3,894

Re: Should I toss my old textbooks or keep them?

It must be more than 10 years ago since I've used the last time a printed manual. Everything is now online available SAS 9.4 Product Documentation

I find stuff in the online manuals the fastest using Google but then restricting the search to SAS. Let's say for looking up SAS 9.4 Proc Corr syntax I would use the following search string: site:support.sas.com 9.4 proc corr

A lot of the manuals are also available as pdf versions so you can still print them if you want to - or download them onto your laptop or tablet for off-line reading.

SAS is highly backward compatible so what's in your old manuals will still work but you would miss out on any enhancements. So like Reeza wrote: Unless these are "methods" books not worth keeping.

What has changed a lot beginning with SAS 9 is the underlying SAS architecture and the available tool set. From what you write I believe you could be interested in SAS Visual Analytics/SAS Visual Statistics (if your company got these licenses): SAS Visual Statistics | SAS These two tools are very different from the SAS you know and don't require coding anymore (so you could get up to speed very fast).

New Contributor
Posts: 2

Re: Should I toss my old textbooks or keep them?

I had another look at the book I have here now, thought I had 2 but the other was bigger and may have already been tossed out for that reason. This one seems to be along the lines of "Suppose you want to find out how two data sets compare in terms of [variable], here is how to use code to get that answer out of SAS, and the file format that SAS can read to generate the answer you are looking for." The thinking I have is that it does give an idea of what variables have to be available in order to generate a useful answer. I am going to look at my other statistics textbooks and see if they overlap in terms of statistical procedures presented -- because if they entirely overlap, the only thing the SAS book has different about it is SAS code, and as code seems to have gone by the wayside, this old text will not be useful. So far I have not run across a company advertising at the level I work at for SAS knowledge, however it seems that when I do then I will have a good time learning the new methods of generating results. In the meantime, I have had to use SPSS, Microsoft Excel statistics extension, Minitab and a statistics calculator that is not as good as a computer but still helps.

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