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Textbook rental program coming to W&M Bookstore

  • W&M Bookstore
    W&M Bookstore  Located in Merchants Square in Colonial Williamsburg, the William & Mary Bookstore - operated by Barnes & Noble - offers new,used and now, rented textbooks.  Photo by Kelsh Wilson
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Beginning in fall 2010, the College of William & Mary Bookstore will offer students a new textbook rental program designed to deliver maximum savings and convenience. 

The program will allow students to rent their textbooks for less than 50 percent of the cost of purchasing a new printed textbook.  As an added convenience, students will be able to rent their books either in the store or from the store’s website. 

This decision to offer a textbook rental program was made jointly by the College of William & Mary and Barnes & Noble College Booksellers.

“We are very excited about offering a textbook rental program to our students and look forward to working with Barnes & Noble to make this a success,” said Carolyn K. Davis, director of auxiliary services at William & Mary.

“We are committed to providing students with the widest range of content options and price points available,” said Paul Maloney, vice president at Barnes & Noble College Booksellers. “Whether students are interested in new books, used, digital, unbundled, or now rentals, they know they can find what they want at the William & Mary Bookstore.”

Other program features:

  • Students can pay the rental fees using any form of tender currently accepted by the bookstore – including the William & Mary Express account. (Note: For security purposes, a valid credit card must also be provided regardless of the tender used for the rental fee.)
  • Students can highlight or mark the rented books just as they would if they purchased a book and planned to sell it back to the bookstore.
  • Students can convert their rental to a purchase during the first two weeks of class.
  • The rental period is for the duration of the term/semester. Books are due back at the bookstore no later than 10 days after the last day of finals. Students can return the books in person or mail them to the bookstore.
  • Courtesy emails will go out as the end of the term/semester approaches reminding students to return their books. Books not returned (or returned in unusable condition) will be subject to replacement and processing fees.
Barnes & Noble began piloting their rental program earlier this year at 25 campus bookstores across the country.  Response from students at those sites has been tremendous. In particular, students like having the option of getting their books immediately - as opposed to waiting for a shipment to arrive –and they appreciated knowing that the books they were renting were guaranteed to be the right books for the classes.  More than 90% of the students surveyed said they would rent from their campus bookstore again.

Watch for more details about the rental program in the coming months. For more information about the William & Mary Bookstore visit their website.