Bookstore reports 7,000 rentals

Nearly 7,000 textbooks have been rented through the GW Bookstore a little more than a week and a half into the spring semester.

Bob Blake, director of the GW Bookstore, said students have saved $225,000 in textbook costs by opting to rent rather than purchase their books outright this semester.

About 11,000 books were rented throughout the fall semester, resulting in a total savings of about $335,000, Blake said.

“We’re on track to meet the same number as in the fall,” Blake said. “I suspect we’ll hit that by the end of the month.”

Implemented at the beginning of the school year, the program is part of a national campaign run by the Follett Higher Education Group, called Rent-A-Text. Follett offers books for rent in more than 1,000 university libraries at about half the cost of their selling price, giving students a less expensive alternative to buying their books.

Differing from other rental programs, Rent-A-Text allows students to highlight and write in their rentals as long as they are returned at the end of the semester.

Blake said the majority of rented books were returned successfully after final exams, adding that some students chose to purchase their textbooks at the end of the semester.

More than a quarter of the bookstore’s titles were rentable in the fall, selected from a national list of more than 2,000 books that Follett determines, and GW has maintained that percentage for the spring semester.

“One-thousand-one-hundred-ninety-two titles are eligible,” Blake said. “And it’s a different selection of texts, although some of them may be the same.”

Stephanie Methodiou, a freshman, said she learned from last semester to take advantage of the bookstore’s program. This semester she is renting her history, statistics and sociology textbooks.

“I didn’t really know you could rent books in the beginning,” Methodiou said. “But this semester I was more strategic. I used the system better.”

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