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The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

New program eases wallets

Baron Bredenberg, senior inventory and receiving clerk, stacks books for the upcoming semester, most of which will be available for rental. (Kevin Hayes/The Inquirer)

New program In an effort to cut rising academic costs to students, the DVC bookstore will be renting out textbooks in addition to selling them starting next semester.

The program, which the school began piloting at the beginning of November, will expand to cover almost all the textbooks the school carries, and allows students to rent textbooks for a semester for significantly less money than purchasing..

Bookstore manager Bill Foster, who has been running point on the rental program, said that the savings would be sizable. “New rentals will be 55-60 percent of the new sales price, to students,” Foster said. “If it was a $100 book they’d be able to rent it for $55. If it’s available used, and it would normally sell used for $60, we’d rent it for $35.”

Foster said that the bookstore had been considering renting books for two or three years, but had only recently been able to find an acceptable program model – specifically one that didn’t require instructors to make a multi-year commitment to the same book.

The rental program will also continue to use the same primary wholesaler the bookstore already uses, so there will be no change in costs to the bookstore itself – most of the savings will be student savings.

“It’s pretty much revenue neutral for us. We won’t make any more money and we won’t make any less money. We’ll make as much as we always have,” Foster said.

“In the long run we hope to save the students somewhere on average $100 to $150 a semester,” Foster added.

There are limitations that renting books places on the renter. If the book is lost or not returned, the student will be charged for the full price of the textbook, and there are terms and conditions that renters must agree to before renting a book which, among other things, involve not marking books or taking notes in them.

“A lot of people freak out when they see the long list of things that they have to agree to,” said Bill Jason, a bookstore operations assistant. “We had one girl look at it and just throw up her hands and say ‘Never mind.'”

Richard Tash, a construction instructor, said that he wouldn’t recommend renting textbooks for his own class because there’s a lot of paper and pen interaction with the books. Tash said, “There’s a lot of writing that needs to be done in books: highlighting, notes, and in the back [of the book] there are quizzes and tests for the students to do.”

DVC student Marcela Gama, undeclared, 21, said that she would probably start renting books next semester.

“When people buy and sell back their textbooks, they don’t get as much money back,” Gama said.

Richard Curtice, a 19-year-old English major, said that he already rents books at Barnes and Noble and recommends it.

“I feel like it works better than buying because it’s cheaper, and I don’t have to worry about what to do with the books after the semester’s over,” said Curtice.

Susan Lamb, vice president of instruction, indicated that she approved of the program.  “Generally I think it’s a good thing,” said Lamb. “It gives students options, and anything that gives students options is a good thing.”


Contact Scott Baba at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Scott Baba
Scott Baba, Opinion editor
Opinion editor, spring 2011. Staff member, spring and fall 2010.

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New program eases wallets