Try Renting Textbooks

In the past week, most of us have traded in over 60 hours of work at your summer minimum wage job for a stack of reading material that we might not even end up reading.† There is, however, a solution to this problem.

I personally spent a full 40- hour work week vacuuming leaves from the bottom of a pool, scrubbing tile and sitting in 80 degree heat to pay for my semesterís worth of books. You may have waited tables for a long Friday night for your geology book. Or, maybe you lifted heavy bags of mulch for your landscaping job day after day to pay for your chemistry texts. There has to be a better way to do this, right?

Some textbook companies actually do think there is a better and cheaper way to help students out.† Companies like Cengage Learning, Chegg and BookRenter have begun programs where a student can rent their textbooks out for 40 to 70 percent of the sale price.† These online companies argue that renting textbooks is a more economical way for students to get their required class materials.† Because we all know that sitting in the back of the Wilson Bookstore and reading the assigned chapters out of the anthropology book you didnít buy doesnít usually work too well.

Some argue that buying used books and then selling them back at the end of the year is actually more cost efficient then renting them.† But that still requires students to have hundreds of dollars of cash ready to spend at the beginning of each semester.† And, more often than not, books are unable to be sold back to the bookstore or the student receives less than half of what they originally paid for the material. Websites like and are other options for selling used books.† Posting them online, however, also does not guarantee that youíll find a buyer.

Renting textbooks is probably not the best option for books a student would want to use for future reference, such as books for their major.† But, for required classes in which you wonít be reusing the materials, why not save some cash?

Most classes require the newest edition of the text available, so why buy it, only to learn that no one is going to buy it from you at the end of the semester? When youíre supposed to shell out hundreds of dollars for your class materials, but you only make eight dollars an hour all summer, every little bit helps.

Especially at a time where finding jobs is getting harder and harder, students are more money-conscious then ever. After saving money all summer, it is difficult to empty out your checking account in the span of a week.† So why not try it?