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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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

TheFashionistachic May 20, 2013 at 4:46 pm

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.


Amanda June 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm

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


Book Snob Wannabe June 23, 2012 at 12:45 am

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.


Colleen June 20, 2012 at 9:33 pm

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.


Theresa June 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Considering I have eight kids I think we are going to look into textbook renting. :)


Jennifer C. June 19, 2012 at 10:57 pm

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.


Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell June 19, 2012 at 8:02 pm

My kids tried, but they never had luck finding the textbooks they needed. :(


Jennifer June 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I think renting text books is way better than buying them


Kathy June 19, 2012 at 8:50 am

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


Jenn June 18, 2012 at 11:11 am

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


Toni @ A Daily Dose June 18, 2012 at 6:05 am

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


Tricia Nightowlmama June 17, 2012 at 11:08 pm

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


Anne June 17, 2012 at 8:38 pm

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


Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies June 17, 2012 at 6:42 pm

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.


HilLesha June 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm

They are expensive, so this is a great idea!


Zipporah Sandler June 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Wish this was available when my son went to college.


Tammy June 17, 2012 at 11:57 am

I think renting is a great way to save money.


Shell Fruscione June 17, 2012 at 3:38 am

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!


debra @strangedazeindeed June 17, 2012 at 2:12 am

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


Stefani June 17, 2012 at 1:20 am

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.


Kenda @ Remaking June Cleaver June 16, 2012 at 5:40 pm

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.


Ty @ Mama of 3 Munchkins June 15, 2012 at 11:29 pm

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


Courtney June 15, 2012 at 7:14 pm

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


Kelly June 15, 2012 at 10:24 am

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.


Anne - Mommy Has to Work June 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm

My stepson says renting is the way to go!


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