For Rent, More and More: Textbooks

For Rent, More and More: Textbooks 1

Stephanie Bruce for The Chronicle

The availability of textbook rentals at the U. of North Carolina at Wilmington "means students will turn to us for their textbook needs," says a campus business official. "And it's also a great option for them to reduce their textbook costs."

It's been a tough decade for college bookstores.

While much of their revenue comes from T-shirts, hoodies, and shot glasses, bookstores have still felt the pinch as students turn to flourishing online competitors to buy cheaper print books or digital texts.

Now campus bookstores are faced with yet another challenge: More and more students want to rent textbooks, not buy them. A small but growing number of students are renting textbooks for iPads and Kindles through online