Before the advent of the internet made buying textbooks online and textbook rentals online easy, students were usually stuck with purchasing their books from the campus bookstore. At a student bookstore, students are classically presented with two options: buy a textbook new, or buy a textbook used. Until recently, the only way to rent textbooks was through the internet. Fortunately, a company called Rent-A-Text has made it even easier and more convenient for students to rent their textbooks and save money. But what is Rent-A-Text, and how does it compare with textbook rentals online?

Rent-A-Text is a textbook rental service that is provided at campus book stores. They began offering textbook rental services at a few college campuses in 2009. Since, they have gained popularity and expanded to many colleges and universities across the United States. Essentially, Rent-A-Text runs their rental service with the cooperation of campus bookstores and allows students to save, on average, more than 50% over new textbook retail prices.

Students looking to take advantage of Rent-A-Text s services simply need to visit their campus bookstore and determine if: 1) their campus bookstore offers Rent-A-Text, and 2) if the books they need are available for rent. Since Rent-A-Text is relatively new, it is not offered at some institutions and not all textbooks may be available for rent. However, they have partnered with a very large amount of colleges and publishers and continue to expand their catalogue and accessibility.

The advantages that Rent-A-Text offers over textbook rentals online are as follows. There are no shipping costs to be paid; students merely need to go to the campus bookstore and pick up their book. Thus, there is no waiting period for textbooks to arrive in the mail. Students also do not have to be hassled with finding the correct editions of their textbooks online or jumping through hoops to verify that a certain version of a textbook will meet the instructor s needs, as the campus bookstore has direct access to the teacher s book list. Utilizing Rent-A-Text, you will be guaranteed to get the book you need.

Like textbook rentals online, a rental fee is charged that is much lower than the price of buying a textbook new. Students can shop in store or online, making browsing convenient. If you decide that you want to keep a textbook, you will have the option of buying the textbook during the rental term. Like some online rental services, minor highlighting and note taking is permitted in the books; just be sure not to overdo it.

College students should definitely consider Rent-A-Text, especially if they want to save money and don t want to have to deal with selling their books after the semester. Although not every textbook will be available through the service, it may prove to be a worthy option for those who may benefit from its convenience.

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