09/13/2011

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Renting Textbooks If you're trying to save money on textbooks, sometimes renting a textbook that you know you'll never want to keep is a super way to save some dough. Some campus bookstores now offer rental books, which makes renting particularly convenient. There are also a number of Web-based companies that specialize in renting textbooks to college students. All of the rental services ask that you not highlight or write in the books you rent. Some of them include a pre-paid shipping label to make returning the books simple. Keep in mind, though, that rental services do not guarantee that the rented book will include supplementary materials like CDs, or CD-ROMs, or Web access codes or workbooks. If you need a workbook, for instance, you'll need to be sure to buy that separately. The first thing to do if you're interested in exploring your book rental prospects is to determine the exact edition that your instructor is using. That means learning the book title, author, and most importantly of all, the ISBN. You can rent textbooks either from your campus bookstore, from online book seller Barnesandnoble.com or from various Web-based companies that stock the most commonly used textbooks. Book rental sites allow you to adjust the start and end dates of your rental to match your school's schedule. Remember to rent the book until you finish finals, and still have time to ship it back to the rental company. It pays to do a little shopping around, if you have the time. For instance, the 8th edition of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. I in hardcover retails for $66.25 from the publisher; they sell it to bookstores for the wholesale price of $53.00. Amazon is selling new copies for $52.34, and used copies from third party resellers for around $26.00. BarnesandNoble.com sells the new book new for 54.96 and rents it for $31.84 for ninety days. You can rent the book for a semester (you can adjust the start and end dates) for about $26.00 from Chegg.com, for $33.69 from BookRenter.com (for a longer period), or $28.20 from CampusBookRentals.com for a semester. One site, BigWords.com, attempts to search for the best deal on a book, and lists the various options they find so you can pick the one that works the best for you. Remember that if you decide not to rent your textbooks, you still have other options for saving money.