Because renting books would have saved me a fortune!


Thank you to CampusBookRentals for sponsoring this post on saving money on college text books.

It took me what seemed like forever to pay off my student loans. And that includes our debt snowball and getting some loans forgiven for teaching chemistry in a high risk school.

While most of those loans were for paying tuition and room and board, I would guess a large chunk of it went to textbooks. Some of them I was lucky enough to be able to sell back, but a large portion of them ended up in a box in our garage (because I can’t just throw them away). And, I have found a couple ways to repurpose some of those books. 

Look at my fancy monitor stand. Yep, a Chemistry textbook and a Principles of Instrumental Analysis textbook. Nerd alert anybody?


In all honesty, since my major is Chemistry, I did intend to keep those books, but I have so many others that our school didn’t use again or a new version came out that I am stuck with. But, you know what would be cool? If I could have either rented those books originally with a site like CampusBookRentals or, even better, that I could have rented out the text books that I own to other students, and then got them back when they were finished by using RentBack.

Using these services, I could have 

  • saved 40-90% off of bookstore prices
  • received free shipping both ways
  • highlighted in the textbooks
  • had flexible renting periods
  • had a donation made to Operation Smile with each textbook rented

CampusBookRentals and RentBack have partnered with Operation Smile and are donating over 1,000 life saving cleft lip surgeries this year to children in need. So not only would I be saving myself money renting a text book, or even getting money by renting one of mine out, but I would also be helping with Operation Smile. Win-Win.

Do you still have a ton of your college textbooks sitting around your house? How have you repurposed them?

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  1. OK. Nerd alert! I have that Instrumental Analysis textbook. I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising since we’re about the same age with the same degree, but that’s still pretty cool.

    And yep … all my chem textbooks are in the garage. I donated all my bio books to the bio club for their library. I wish I had kept them, though. As there are some things I wish I could look up in a textbook without having to google.

    I’m going to pass these sites on to my husband. We’re racking up quite a bit of debt to his school too, and if we can save a buck or two on books, well, why not.

    1. Fun nerd alert! That was actually one of my favorite classe!

      I’ve thought about donating my bio books, too. I mean, really, how much has changed?

      I was glad I kept some chem books because I used them when I was tutoring last year.

  2. grandma pat says:

    whoever started this was very smart. College text books are redicously expensive and as you stated are releasing new revisions all the time.

  3. I think renting is a great idea. When I was in college I thought I’d want to save my books. I never looked at any of college books again. It is such a waste. The best thing would be if they were all online, but until then, renting is a great idea.

    1. Online or on ipad would be great…but until then:)

      I’ve used a couple of mine as a reference when I was tutoring, so I was glad to have a couple of them.

  4. Too funny! Hubby and I were just sorting through the old college texts and trying to decide if we should get rid of them. Honestly, we spent a fortune on them but really dont need them any more. Wish I had been able to use this service when I was in school!

    1. It’s kind of a bummer so many of us have them sitting around.

  5. I do have way too many physics textbooks laying around the house!! And calculus too! College textbooks are way too much money! Love the idea of renting them!

    1. Oh, I have my physics and calculus books in a box, too! Haven’t ever pulled them out again.

  6. I heard about Campus Book Rentals about a month ago. I wish they were around when I was in school, definitely could have saved on tons of money. I’m glad that it’s around now. I recommended them to my cousin last month since she’s studying at the University of Kentucky. She was very impressed with them!

    1. That’s great she was able to take advantage of this. I really love the idea!

  7. I love that stand! So creative. I too wish they had this when I was in college!

  8. Most of my university textbooks I bought second hand or borrowed from relatives that had already taken those courses. They were an edition or two behind but nothing that effected my grades. Our daughter is going to University next year though, and I’m going to totally have her look into renting her textbooks!

  9. LOL I am dying over here because I have a couple of computer science books I use as presses to flatten art projects and flowers! I think a flower press would have cost a lot less!! I also hate clutter so I would have loved to have been able to return them when I was done and free up some space!

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