It’s scary to think that you can spend about $500 on textbooks per semester of your college life. On top of that are your tuition fees and your living costs. There is no doubt that buying textbooks and education comes at a cost.
That’s why renting your college textbooks instead of buying them is a smart move. Some students may never have even considered the idea. Renting your textbooks is an excellent way to save money and keep your student debt at a minimum.
That said, renting your textbooks isn’t all plain sailing. In this article, we’ll talk you through seven factors you need to consider when renting your college textbooks. First on your reading list for this semester is this article!
1. Not All Books Are Equal
Some of your textbooks will be more useful to you than others. You may end up with a long reading list, in which case it can be challenging at first to know which books are the most important ones. The best way to find out is to ask your professor directly which books they think are the most important.
An alternative is to ask others that have studied your course. Your faculty may have an online forum or community that you can engage with and canvass good advice on which books will make the biggest difference to your experience on the course. Once you’ve identified the key reference works, those are the ones you want to focus on renting.
2. Be Selective
Renting is a brilliant idea and will save you a small fortune each semester. Still, that doesn’t mean you should never buy a textbook again. The advantage of renting is that it gives you time to get to know the various textbooks and which ones you feel are going to be of the most benefit to you not just for this semester but longer term.
If you find yourself repeatedly going back to one textbook and even wanting to make notes in it. Then it’s worth considering buying this textbook at some point and continuing to rent other books. You want to be selective and smart about any books you do finally invest in.
3. Shop Around
Books are a competitive market like most other educational resources. So even when it comes to renting you shouldn’t rent from the first provider you come across. It’s good to shop around and compare prices.
Prices will vary based on the original value of the textbook, how recent an edition it is, and also how popular it is. So don’t make assumptions, just do your homework and you’ll see how you can save money.
Before renting a textbook, it also pays to thoroughly search for pdf copies that are available online. Even if you can’t access the whole textbook you may be able to find some partial online versions that focus on particular chapters or subjects.
4. Get It Covered
When you do take the plunge and rent your textbooks you must remember they are an investment and in your trust. You will need to return them in excellent condition. That’s not always easy with a full bag and the demands of everyday life.
One of the first things you should do is get them covered. You might want to make your own covers which can be fun and economical or you can invest in some strong material covers for standard-sized textbooks and then use them over and over again.
5. Study More Effectively
When it comes to renting textbooks the old adage time is money holds true. So the longer you are renting your textbook the more it’s costing you. So make sure you’re getting the best out of those textbooks in the shortest period of time possible. What that requires is for your to focus your studies and be more effective in your study methods.
There are lots of good things you can do to practically improve your study effectiveness. One thing you will want to do is to make clear notes on all the key points. With smart tablets, apple pencils, and cameras, you can do a lot to capture content from your textbook and make your own personalized notes.
6. Digital Versus Paper Rental
Renting books doesn’t mean you have to rent a paper copy. Everyone is different and has their own style of learning and preference. However, if you consider renting digital books then there can be some great advantages.
Ever since the ebook was invented, it has been very popular and the number of different texts available in this form continues to soar. It’s very likely the texts you want are available and at very good prices to rent. Ebooks are super convenient, easy to return, and free of shipping charges and all the risks that come with damaging paper copies.
7. Save Trees and Space
If you have to rent your textbooks then you’re more likely to only rent what you need and return the books after they’ve served their purpose. This is good news for the planet as it means books get re-used and not printed endlessly and left to gather dust.
Books may not be that big but they soon occupy a large area of the space you live in, especially when you’re studying. Renting textbooks will allow you to return them as soon as they are redundant rather than letting them steal the space in your room.
College Textbooks for Everyone
In this article, you’ve read about seven factors to consider when renting college textbooks. Bottom line is that textbooks are expensive, go out of date, and are not always convenient. Renting textbooks is an excellent option that makes these resources available to almost everyone.
Keep these factors in mind so that you can rent books and get all the benefits without some of the negatives. There are some great resources on the internet to help you make the most of the book renting market. Check out some of the subjects available on our site.