Why CliffsNotes may still be the best cheat sheet

Not that it's online, you don't have to be embarrassed about reading it in public

“CliffsNotes is one of the most thorough, one of the most insightful,” Professor Fisher said. “If a student wanted to use it along with the text, it would be worthwhile.”

I swear that back in the day I read both the original novels and the CliffsNotes guides. Really. I was such a nerd that I took seriously that warning on the inside front cover about how I’d jeopardize those precious learning years if I read only the booklet.

Times have changed since then (maybe even the warning). The yellow-and-black booklets are online and have competition — some of it free.

Check out this New York Times comparison of various college study guides — including CliffsNotes, SparkNotes and Shmoop — to see where you get the biggest bang for the buck.

My two cents:The oldie is still a goodie.