One of the little lessons I've learned about teaching: always check your books at the bookstore during the week before classes.
Here's how it goes. In, say, early October, the bookstore sends out requests for book orders, to be handed in by mid-October.
Sometime in December, I realize that I haven't ordered books yet, and order the ones that are easy, the ones for classes I've taught a fair bit or that don't have many books to order.
For Chaucer this term, I ordered AC Cawley's Everyman edition of The Canterbury Tales. It's cheap, it's got decent notes, and it's easy for students to carry around in overloaded backpacks.
Then in early January, I got around to ordering the more complicated orders, the ones involving different editions of plays. I gave up on a big Shakespeare anthology because it's too painfully heavy to carry around in backpacks with a couple 20 pound science texts.
So, today I went and checked my books. Shakespeare looks good; they notified me before that they were going to get one edition in only during the second week of classes, and I worked that into the syllabus, so it's no problem.
Comp is a mess, but all three of the texts I ordered are there, and we'll figure it out if necessary.
Chaucer is mostly okay. Mostly there are used and new editions of the Everyman. But there were also about 5 Penguin editions, in modern English translation with no notes. Oops!
Happily, the bookstore manager came and we chatted, and he pulled them off the shelf and told me to have any students who bought the wrong edition come in and exchange for the right one. So that should work out fine.
I'm extra glad I went and checked. I wonder how many of my students bought the Penguin, since it's smaller in size (and that's always appealing!).