Having the first trial this fall, book rentals took off with discounted prices the select books. The Pacific bookstore is giving students rental options on selected books as a cost saving alternative.
“Barnes & Noble College Booksellers and the Pacific University bookstore are committed to providing our students with the range of options they want and need,” said Assistant Manager, Jessica Hamlet.
According to Hamlet, the Barnes & Noble rental program was available at 300 college bookstores nationwide this fall. A follow-up survey reported that more than 90 percent of students would rent from the bookstore again. At Pacific, approximately 25 percent of all fall textbook titles were available for rent, and about a third of the student body chose to rent one or more of their textbooks.
The book rental program will continue for Winter III and the 2011 spring term. According to Hamlet there will be eight rental titles available for Winter III, 22 percent of all titles, and 86 titles available for spring term, 19 percent of all titles. As book orders from the faculty come in, more titles will become available for rent to students.
“We’re very aware that textbook costs can get very expensive for our students and offering rentals,” said Hamlet. “Along with digital and used options, this is one way we’re helping to keep those costs down.”
The bookstore requires that rented textbooks be returned in gently used condition.
“It’s absolutely fine to highlight some passages or make notes in the margins. The biggest thing to watch out for is walking to class in the rain with the book, or having liquids around it. Water damage will automatically mark the book as ‘unsaleable’ and a replacement fee will be charged,” said Hamlet. If the book has had significant damage, the cost is 50 percent to 75 percent of the new book price.
Because of fewer classes available for the spring semester, the amount of rented texts books will not be as high in the fall. The bookstore expects the rental program to grow in the future.