Textbook Rental Grows

Earlier this month, College Guide explored the growth of textbook rental programs, reporting that Barns & Noble has a growing rental plan.

But some students might be uncomfortable with an agreement that forces them to sign up with a company that is currently the largest book retailer in the country and, despite the apparent cost savings promised by its leasing program, still responsible for huge markup in textbook prices.

Well, now there’s competition. According to an article at University World News:

BookRenter, a web-based company in northern California, is offering students an alternative to purchasing their expensive textbooks: simply rent them.

BookRenter says it can save users up to 75% when they rent their required textbooks through its online exchange. Among other guarantees, the company promises customers their textbooks are either brand new or slightly used; there are – its managers claim – millions of books available and delivery is free if the textbooks do not arrive on time.

BookRenter.com is a California-based company founded by Colin Barceloux, a man frustrated by the cost of textbooks he was forced to purchase as a student at Santa Clara University. Traffic at BookRenter’s website grew 300 percent since last September. Students from about 5,000 colleges across the U.S. now use BookRenter to get their books.

The average college student spends spends about $898 buying textbooks and supplies in an academic year.

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer