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Book Rentals Generate Buzz

October 12, 2010

Today’s college students are all about saving money. And Barnes & Noble College Booksellers (BN College), located right on BMCC’s campus, is well aware of students’ money-saving missions.

That’s why BN College has once again implemented a textbook rental program at BMCC, which has been just as successful this semester as it was last year, when it was first introduced to the BMCC community.

In fact, BMCC, was one of twenty-five colleges that participated in the initial textbook rental pilot program, generating some publicity on local television news stations.

The textbooks rent for less than 50% of the cost of a new, printed textbook.

How it works

The textbook rental option is simple. Students can rent books either in the bookstore or from the store’s Web site.

According to bookstore manager Angie Mendez, online rental orders have been extremely popular this semester, with more students opting to place their rental order through the bookstore’s Web site this semester than last semester.

Students are allowed to rent the book for the entire semester. They have to take care of the book, but are permitted to write in it neatly and carefully, preferably in pencil.

For safety and identity reasons, and in case the book is lost or damaged, a valid credit card must be provided by each student to rent any books.

The rented books must be returned to the bookstore no later than 10 days after the last day of finals. Students who fail to return their books or return them damaged, are charged replacement and processing fees.

Who rents?

According to Mendez, most students opt to rent books that are not needed for their major. “Basically, if the book is not for your major, rental is the most affordable way to go,” she says. “You also get the book immediately."

Business Management major Vashtie Dennis rented a physics book this semester from the bookstore. “It was a good price—$72—and I get to keep it for the whole semester, as opposed to just a few weeks.”

If Dennis wanted to purchase the physics book new, it would have cost her $160. “Physics is not my major and I don’t plan on keeping the book the way I would a business book, so I rented it,” she explains. “Not only did I save money, but it’s convenient to have this rental program on campus because the library doesn’t always have the book you want, or if they do, you sign it out of the library.”

Dennis also points out that if you order a used book online from another Web site, it can take up to a week to ten days to receive it. In contrast, during bookstore hours, as long as the book to be rented is in stock, students can pick it up fast—preventing them from falling behind in class without it.

A great deal

Mendez says some of the most popular titles for rental include science, philosophy and reading skills books, but it varies per semester. The bookstore carries the current editions of most textbooks, and BN College determines which books are available for rental that particular semester.

Books available for rental at the bookstore are labeled with a “Rent Me!" sticker. During the first two weeks of classes, a student can convert their rental into a textbook purchase.

"In this economy, books are expensive…school is expensive,” says bookstore employee Gabbie Russell. “By renting books, students don’t have to wait until the end of the semester to be told the book isn’t going to be used anymore, and they won’t get anything for it. As a rental, the book is being returned no matter what, which is another reason why the book rental program is a great deal and a popular option.”


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  • BN College is conveniently located on the BMCC campus.
  • Book rentals help students save money, especially in a non-major course..
  • Students can rent books for entire semester.

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