E-books and Rentals Expected to See Increase in Fall

Both textbook rentals and e-textbooks at the Bradley Bookstore gained popularity this past year and more titles will be offered next semester.

For the first time this fall, the bookstore began renting textbooks and Store Manager Paul Kroenke said it was a great success.

“Rentals were popular with students and very successful,” he said. “So much so that we’re increasing the number of titles that will be offered in the fall.”

Kroenke said about 50 percent of students who would have bought a textbook chose to rent it instead, saving students around 50 percent of what the new textbook would have cost.

Freshman education major Kelsey Garrity said she rented a book this semester from the bookstore.

“It’s cheaper,” she said. “If I were to rent again I would stay at Bradley because it’s easy I can just go pick it up here.”

Although Garrity found that renting from Bradley was cheaper, sophomore English major Ashley Hamilton said she rents her books from other companies.

“It costs too much at the bookstore,” she said. “Chegg and Amazon are cheaper, and I would still rent from them even if the bookstore offered more titles. Freshman year I bought books from the bookstore and I spent $600. This year I rented and I only spent $300.”

The bookstore currently offers more than 350 titles in e-textbooks. These textbooks are available through a computer or e-reader and provide tools to highlight and take notes as well as other interactive features. Kroenke said the sale of etextbooks grew by 800 percent this past year.

“E-textbooks are expected to grow,” he said. “They make up for less than one percent of the market but that is expected to be 20 percent of the textbook business in the next five years.”

Freshman early education major Emily Turk said she likes using an ebook because it is more convenient.

“I used a math e-book on my Nook and it was nice because it is the same price and it is more convenient,” she said. “E-books would be really nice if I had a history or religious book that I had to read. I would definitely buy other ebooks.”

Even though e-textbooks are a convenient and a new use of technology, Kroenke said most people still want a hard copy, and prefer textbooks.

In addition to expanding rentals and e-textbooks in the bookstore, Kroenke said he is interested in bringing more to the bookstore.

“We already have an end-cap, but I would like to bring in more technology type stuff,” he said. “I’d like to see if that is viable here. I just don’t know if students already come to school with their laptops and other types of technology.”