I love Martin Luther King, Jr. day. Not only does it commemorate one of the most important figures in American history, it also allows us a quick breather before the school semester kicks into high gear.
Technically our semester got underway Thursday--though it was just introductions. It is always so exciting, the first days back-- the butterflies, the clean notebooks, the new faces.
I love my job.
That said, the textbooks required for me to do my job are insanely overpriced. It is a major pet peeve of mine-- having to tell students to put their hard earned money toward a 250 page text that costs 65.00. And that is just for one text-- there are 2 required for my history classes. And forget about the books needed for science and math. Ridiculous.
I mean, I get it-- they are expensive because they are of limited use. Most of your average consumers aren't going to line up to buy a college textbook. Small markets mean higher prices. Yeah. Doesn't stop checking accounts from bleeding when its time to buy 'em though.
That is why I recommend my students rent textbooks online whenever possible. I suggest heading to CampusBookRentals-- no joke, I actually put a link to it on my course website-- I really believe in their service, compensation aside. Not only will renting your textbooks from them save you 40-90% off of the campus bookstore price, they also offer free shipping both ways, allow you to highlight in the book and offer flexible renting periods (a big help for our campus mini-mesters).
And if all that isn't enough, CampusBookRentals makes a donation to Operation Smile with each textbook rented. Seriously. How cool is that.
They've also started a new program: RentBack. Basically, it allows students to rent textbooks they own to other students. On average, students can make 2-4 times more money than they can using traditional buyback options. Too awesome! Here's a quick video explaining how it works: