The greatest advantage to renting books, particularly textbooks, is that you save money. You use the book and gain the information you need without the full expense or the potential long-term storage issues of purchasing every book you want or need to read. If you rent, be careful and considerate of the book -- remember, it doesn't belong to you. If you're the person renting out the books, the benefits are that you earn money and retain ownership of the books while earning income from them. Whatever notes you made, sentimental value you attach or future purposes you have for the books, they still belong to you. Just try to rent your books only to people who will respect the books and return them in good condition. Consider fining rentees who bring books back late or in bad condition.
Today's students are looking for ways to save and earn money as they face rising tuition, expensive textbooks, and room and board. One easy way to save money (or earn money) is to rent your textbooks from other students who have already used them. Most people have a local library, so most book rental involves textbooks; however, people with inadequate libraries may prefer to rent other books as well. There are many advantages to renting books, whether you are a student or a voracious reader on a budget, or the person renting out the books.
If you have a required class outside of your major and don't want to keep a textbook long-term, renting ensures you don't collect stacks of books that you neither have room for nor want to use in the future. While it may be a good idea to purchase the textbooks that relate to your field of specialization, it is certainly not necessary for all of your classes. Conversely, the benefit to you if you're renting the books out is that you get to clear some space in your dorm room, at least for a semester. For those looking to rent other types of books for pleasure, the benefit is that you just have to find a place to keep them as long as it takes you to read them.
Internet Book Rentals
Many websites offer textbook rentals, and some of these sites allow you to take notes, highlight and even purchase the books at the end of the rental period should you so desire. Several of these sites offer free shipping as well as the ability to return books that you don't end up needing after all (think drop/add).
Meet New Friends
If you rent books from upperclassmen attending your own college or university, it can lead to friendships with people who have taken the classes you will take. For new students or underclassmen, it may be difficult to branch out and meet new people, but book rental from fellow students can create the opportunity for relationship building and even networking. The older students may have advice or study tips to offer, and may even be willing to tutor you should the need arise. If you're an upperclassman doing the renting out, it may bring you tutoring jobs -- at the very least, you'll have an opportunity to encourage and befriend a fellow student.
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