What does it mean to rent textbooks?

Renting textbooks is like renting a car - except the fee you pay gets you access to a textbook instead. You can use it for a semester or year-long period, and some sites even let you customize your rental date range.

Plus, it's usually more economical than buying one outright. At Affordabook.com we make sure that you get the best bang for your buck by comparing prices from dozens of stores. We present them in an easy-to-read table with the cheapest options at the top.

Typically, for each title, you'll find three different rental duration choices:

  • Semester-long (120+ days)
  • Quarter-long (90 to 119 days)
  • Session-long (less than 90 days).

So if you're looking for cost savings and convenience when it comes to textbooks, renting is definitely the way to go!

Why should I rent textbooks?

With college costs increasing exponentially, students are looking for ways to save money wherever they can. Textbook rental is a great way to do just that - by renting textbooks instead of buying them, you can save yourself a significant amount of money.

But why stop there? Take it one step further and use our textbook rental price comparison tool to compare prices from multiple sites in one place. We make it easy for you to find the cheapest textbook rentals around!

Is renting a textbook similar to borrowing a book from the library?

Not quite. Borrowing books from a library usually doesn't involve any kind of fee, whereas with textbook rentals, it's more like renting a movie: you pay a small fee and have access to the text for a limited time period.

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Are you wondering how to return your textbook rental?

It's actually quite simple: log into the site where you rented it from, print out a return label, and usually shipping charges are waived. If you happen to be late in returning the book, all you have to do is pay a small fee for overage costs.

What About Access Codes?

When it comes to access codes, they are not typically included with textbook rentals since most of them were used previously by someone else. Therefore, it would be wise to contact your professor to see if you need one.

Fortunately, you can easily purchase an access code on the publisher's website or through our price comparison tool - just add 'access code' after the ISBN or title of the textbook you require. As the old adage goes, "it never hurts to ask."

Can I return the rented textbook and get money back?

Yes, in most cases you can be reimbursed! Just drop a class or have your professor tell you the book isn't necessary and boom – it's time to collect.

But don't forget: you'll need to check with the store where you rented it from first. Generally speaking, they should give you a refund so long as you haven't waited too long.

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Are the costs of shipping included in the textbook rental?

Most stores in our textbook price comparison table have you covered with free shipping! When specific criteria such as order minimums are met, then your textbook rental can be shipped to you without additional charges.

But if these conditions aren’t met, you may need to pay between $2 and $6 for shipment. No surprises here: we include any delivery fees into the overall cost shown in our comparison table. This way, you always know what the exact price is for the desired textbook rental.

Are you looking to get the best deal on textbooks?

Well, we have got you covered! We display both new and used textbook prices right next to the rental prices. You might be surprised to find that purchasing pre-owned books can sometimes cost less than renting them - providing a great opportunity for savings.

So don't forget to take a look at the used prices that are displayed; it could prove to be an economical boon!

At the end of the semester, you may even be able to recoup some of your costs by selling back these used textbooks. All in all, double checking our used prices is a savvy choice that could save you money in the long run.

Find Cheap Textbooks for Rent