Students find renting textbooks a cheaper, more convenient option

Taylor Ballek/ Staff Photographer Bay City sophomore Emily Wood checks the book prices on her receipt Sunday afternoon outside the CMU Bookstore. "I spent under $200 this semester on book rental which is pretty decent compared to past semesters," Wood said.

Renting textbooks remains a convenient option for students looking to lower their student expenses at the beginning of the spring semester.

Barry Waters, director of the Central Michigan University Bookstore, said book rentals have consistently been at 10 percent of the store's sales since it first offered rentals in August 2010.

"Renting has been a stable but popular way for students to obtain their textbooks," Waters said. "We see it continuing to be an important part of our business."

Waters said rentals are one way the bookstore tries to help students save money on books.

"We provide several ways for students to purchase textbooks. Students can, of course, go online and compare our prices directly with major online retailers like Amazon," Waters said. "Students who are looking to save money in-store have found the option of renting textbooks to be a very convenient option."

Textbook rentals allow students to pay a lower price than purchasing their books and help to avoid needless spending if the texts are not needed after the semester's end.

Roughly a quarter of all textbooks are available for rental at the bookstore.

Walled Lake senior Amanda Martlock said renting books has been a key to her saving money.

"I rent some of my books and buy others; it depends on how expensive the book is, if I think I will need it after the class is over and if renting is an option," Martlock said.

Waterford freshman Alexzandra Hayes said she didn't feel the rental process was applicable to her, because she needed her books for the rest of her college career.

"I didn't (rent books) because all the books I bought were for my majors," Hayes said. "I'll need them for the future."

Although renting was not an available option for her, Hayes said it is still a convenient option for the bookstore to provide.

"I think it's awesome they have that option. It's super affordable," Hayes said. "It's perfect for people who can't afford to buy a $200 book. They can rent it for way less for the whole year"


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