Bookstore Makes Changes

by Sheyenne Manning

Students fed up with having to buy expensive textbooks should fret no longer because Simpson’s bookstore now offers a cheaper solution – renting them.

Both students and professors are excited that the bookstore will not only be providing books to buy, but will also allow students to rent their books for the semester.

“I think book rental is a great idea,” Associate Professor of English CoryAnne Harrigan said. “The students get the advantage of paying less for something that they probably don’t want to buy outright anyway.”

The Simpson College Bookstore orders books from the Follett Corporation, one of the largest operators of college bookstores in North America, according to its website. The corporation talked to all of the campuses they work with about the option to begin renting books, and Simpson was one of the first to participate in the program.

Although everyone has had to adjust to some minor changes in the bookstore, the transition to book rentals has been smooth for both employees and students.

“We have a bunch of new things, but Follett has done an amazing job of testing this and setting up the computer programs to take care of all this,” Kathy Magruder said, manager of the bookstore at Simpson College.

Renting books has many benefits over buying books, and for most students the greatest benefit is the price difference.

“In general, a textbook rents for 50 percent or less of the price of the new book,” Magruder said.

Sophomore Katy Philby found out that the bookstore was renting books and decided to compare book prices with other retailers.

“I compared them with (the websites) Chegg and Amazon, and some of them were cheaper to rent through Simpson,” Philby said.

Magruder points out another advantage of renting books on campus is that students will not have to worry about shipping costs or waiting for the book to arrive on time. Additionally, students won’t have to hassle with selling the books back or risk the bookstore not buying their books back at the end of the semester.

Students are not the only ones who will benefit from the book rental option. Harrigan noted that some professors might be able to buy the books that are more useful in their classes that had been too expensive in the past. Now professors can buy the books they want and spare the students their dollars as well.

Already, Magruder said she has noticed the appreciation of the students for the money they have saved and the reliable availability of the books.

“We tried to make it as simple as possible,” Magruder said.

The rented textbooks must be returned at the end of the semester in fair condition, but students are free to highlight or mark in the books just as they would in one they purchased.

“We just ask that you bring the book back in one piece at the end of the semester, which is usually after finals,” Magruder said.