May 11, 2011 | Brenda Clemons, online education | Leave a comment College is expensive enough without the high cost of textbooks. It is summer and there are better things to do with money–things like going to the beach or to the movies to see a summer blockbuster. Save some extra cash for summer fun by renting text books instead of buying them. Rented Vs. Used Text Books Rented textbooks are of the same quality as the used textbooks that are for sale. The only difference is that you can save as much as 80% on the price of a book, this can add up to hundreds, even thousands of dollars . This can add up to an overall savings of 40% on the overall price of college expenses. There are many advantages to renting textbooks besides the obvious savings. With rented texts, there is no hassle with trying to sell your book at the end of the semester. You don’t have to make that trip to the campus book store, or put an ad on Craigslist or eBay. An added advantage here is that you don’t have to worry about collecting the money owed to you by the person buying your book. Disadvantages There are some obvious disadvantages that should be considered, as well. With rented text books the student is not at liberty to highlight and write notes in the margin of a book. A student may wish to keep the book for future reference if the book pertains directly to their chosen career field. The latter is easy to solve. Students may choose to buy some text books while renting others. This means that the student can buy the books pertaining directly to their career choice and rent books needed for their general studies courses. Do watch out for hidden costs. If you do not rent your textbook form your college book store; you will have to pay for shipping charges. While going with the cheapest rate makes economic sense, students would be wise to consider how much time it takes to receive their books with standard shipping. You will want to pay the more expensive rate if your classes start soon so that your books arrive on time. Take Care of Your Books Keep your books in good condition. Don’t highlight or write in your books. Doing this will cause you to have to pay a fine when you return the book. If the book is in bad condition, the retailer may even require you to buy the book. Return your books in on time. Retailers charge a late fee which can run up quickly. When renting your books, make sure that you check it out for the right amount of time. Books can be rented from 60 days to 190 days. Make sure you have the book rented out for enough days to finish your course. What to do with all of that savings? Have some summer fun. The amount of money you save this summer by renting your books could be in the hundreds of dollars. That is enough money to go to an amusement park for a day, or go to the beach for a day. No amusement park or beach around? Rent a hotel room with a swimming pool. Other ideas: eat out, spend the day at a spa, invest in next year’s college expenses.