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Textbooks: Purchase vs. Rent

by Notorious Spinks on 06.14.2012

text book rentals

Text book rentals are becoming trendy these days.  Especially when so many people are returning to college to learn new skills or update their current skill sets. However, when considering going back to college you must budget in textbooks.  I’ve seen books for more than $200.  Good googily mooli!

I recently asked some of my friends who are in college how they afford their textbooks.  I was surprised to learn that many of them already rented their books.  Were have I been? In all honesty, I never even considered this option.  I usually just buy the books and keep it moving.

As I continued to think about it,  renting textbooks would have been great when I was in undergrad.  For instance, I took a Media Law class.  As you know the law changes everyday and with the onset of new media and social media, the game is changing everyday for sure. It would have been great to rent that book instead of buying.  Some of the information as far as historical cases are still usable somewhat, unless one of those ole justices decide to change the law…  I won’t even start on them.

If you’re in college or looking to enroll then you should definitely consider renting textbooks.  It saves money and the pain of not being able to sell them back.

Have you ever tried renting textbooks?  How did it work out for you?





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  • Renting is probably becoming popular because many publishers are moving to digital books. My daughter is in a private high school, many of the students purchased an ipad and they just get it on their ipad. So this renting trend is probably to off-set the inevitable of hard copies becoming obsolete.

  • My husband rented when he went back to college last year and we saved a TON!

  • I love renting my books, but my only criteria is that it has to be a book that has nothing to do with my concentration.

    What I found interesting last semester (Spr 12), was that I can now rent textbooks on my kindle! Yeah! Now I do not have to carry around heavy books.

  • I think renting textbooks would be a great idea I would only want to buy one if I think I will use it a lot down the road for reference.

  • Considering I have eight kids I think we are going to look into textbook renting. 🙂

  • I know someone who rented and it worked for him. However, because I am studying early childhood education, I reference my previous textbooks in the papers I have to write. I also cannot use books that look like they’ve been touched by every germ in the world. I hate to see my pages bent. I hope it works for you.

  • My kids tried, but they never had luck finding the textbooks they needed. 🙁

  • I think renting text books is way better than buying them

  • No, I haven’t but it is a great idea. I wonder if they will have them available for e-readers here soon?

  • I didn’t know you could rent them! Anything is probably better than buying new. Yikes!

  • I am not sure if I would want to rent b/c I like to underline and highlight but it would be a neat option so you are out less money

  • I never thought to rent. I always purchased used or new then sold them back to the book store when i was done

  • My daughter rented one this year for college, and it worked out well. She was even allowed to highlight it.

  • I wish I could have done this when I was in school! I always had to buy mine and then of course, when you try to sell them back, they either don’t want them or they pay you pennies on the dollar for them.

  • They are expensive, so this is a great idea!

  • Wish this was available when my son went to college.

  • I think renting is a great way to save money.

  • I rented every textbook I could in college! I had to pay my own everything so it was a life saver being able to save a few hundred dollars a semester & put it toward other bills!

  • I think it’s a wonderful idea! So economical.

  • I have never rented a book, but from the library years ago. I think its a great idea for those that are looking to save on books.

  • We didn’t have a rental option when I was in college – I wish we had. I remember being broke every semester because they were just so expensive.

  • I’m definitely going to look into renting books, it sounds so much cheaper.

  • Many of my friends actually rent or borrow books.. Smart thinking.

  • wow, I didn’t know you could rent textbooks. Back in my day, I didn’t even have the option of buying used textbooks online so that’s pretty awesome that this service is available.

  • My stepson says renting is the way to go!

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