Earth Day may have been a week or so ago, but here’s an interesting way of continuing good practices to reduce your carbon footprint and keep stuff outta your local landfill – rent books!
Rent versus buy
While pursuing my bachelors degree several years ago I stumbled upon a website that allowed you to rent the textbooks that you needed for a very reasonable fee. Once the class was over you simply shipped the book back to the company and they rented it again. Now that I’m returning to college to pursue a second masters degree I decided to pursue the textbook rental avenue again.
Let’s look at the numbers. The college bookstore is selling the required textbook for my first class at $70 new and $45 used. Unfortunately no used textbooks are available. I did a quick search on Amazon.com and found the book listed new for $58.90, a savings of $11.10.
Amazon.com offers a rental option for the textbook of $24.98. Barnes & Noble will also rent the book to you for 60 days for $14.51 with 90 and 130 day rental periods for $15.73 and $17.48 respectively. A quick Internet search generated even more websites that will happily rent the same textbook for similar prices. Once done with the textbook most of the companies offer a convenient method to ship the book back at no cost, and campusbookrentals.com goes one better by allowing you to purchase the book outright if you decide that you wish to keep it.
One book, many readers
Rentback.com goes one better. You can send the company your unused textbooks and they will rent them to other students on your behalf and pay you $ each time they do so. Given the alternative of putting them on your bookshelf and never referring to them again, renting them out and making some $ just makes sense. And because information changes so fast nowadays you may as well make some cash off the textbook before it is rendered obsolete and suitable only for the recycle bin.