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Textbook options continue to change

Originally published December 3, 2010

Between the new rental system and the introduction of e-books, the Bradley bookstore has seen some significant changes since last year.

Bookstore manager Paul Kroenke said book rentals have gone over well with students.

“When there was a rental available, a little more than half of the time the student chose to rent it,” he said.

Approximately 30 percent of the titles in the bookstore were available to rent this past semester, and students can expect to see the same amount available for the spring semester, Kroenke said.

“It’s judged on a title-by-title basis, so it’s hard to tell [which titles will be available for rent],” he said. “We’re still waiting to hear from the corporate office.”

Kroenke said the amount of digital textbooks available, usually in the form of a CD or online code, has been increasing.

“The digital formats are still a very small percentage of the business, but we have seen consistent growth from last fall to this fall,” he said. “The typical digital book is a rental by time period access. Some are available to keep, but this is outside the norm.”

Sophomore industrial engineering major Anna Jennings said she purchases her books from the bookstore, but she has yet to try renting.

“I’ve only been able to buy the books I need from the bookstore, but I would imagine renting would be much cheaper,” she said. “I tried to get books online, but the ISBN numbers weren’t available through the bookstore, so I just had to buy them.”

Sophomore accounting major Kara Dather said she has bought books online as well as through the bookstore, but the bookstore is more convenient.

“For this last semester, I used the bookstore,” she said. “I bought some books and rented some, but I’ve used half.com before. It was cheaper so I preferred that, but the bookstore saves a lot of hassle.”

Students looking to rent their books for the upcoming semester should begin as soon as they can to ensure there are rentals available, Kroenke said.

“If students have used books they are looking to buy, they should try to buy as soon after finals end as possible,” he said. “Titles can go in and out of rental programs up until classes start.”

Kroenke said the bookstore is already purchasing back books at half price and will continue to do so through Dec. 16 for most books.