The Scarlet & Black

The Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Bookstore offers textbook rental

By Tyler Davidson

Buying books for courses is expensive, and for college kids with little or no income, purchasing a backpack full of textbooks can be as painful for your back as it is for your wallet.

Continuing a new program that began last semester, the Grinnell College Bookstore is now renting books out to students for a reduced cost.

“The professors were starting to worry more and more that students were not having textbooks in the classroom, and so [the College Bookstore finds] ways that facilitate that,” said Harley McIlrath Assistant Manager at the College Bookstore.

The bookstore staff doesn’t want students to have to worry so much about the high cost of textbooks.

“Our mission is just to cover our expenses, so there is not much profit to be made,” said Cassie Wherry, the College Bookstore Manager.

With this motive for change, the College Bookstore has been pushing to implement a system of renting textbooks for a while.

“Well, we were just able to implement it with our current software in January, and we had about 40 customers who rented a few books. And so we had a soft start in January. It started full blown and very successful I might add, in the fall,” Wherry said.

“The only things we don’t offer for rent are things that we don’t know for sure the professor will be using again, and that our wholesale company does not support,” Harley said.

This is not the only system for renting books that the bookstore runs.

“We sort of have two systems going. One is where we have the help of the used book company, and the other is [for] books that we know are going to be used several semesters,” Wherry said. “One of the unique parts about this whole rental program is that the bookstore “…absolutely allow{s] writing and highlighting [within the books].”

This was a big question with students renting books, and has been a significant reason why this system is so successful. Currently, 213 out of 747 books in the bookstore are rentable. However, Wherry stresses that the books must be returned at the end of the semester. Additionally, make sure that there is no liquid damage, tears, structural damage, mold or smoke smells coming from the book.

“When you rent a book, we still own the book. Just think of it as a library book. If you don’t return the book, you are charged for the cost of it,” Wherry said.

The deadline for returning books to the Grinnell College bookstore is Dec. 21.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *