September 28, 2020

BY CALEIGH MCLELLAND

Lineups for parking passes, lineups in the cafeteria and lineups at the IT Service desk – the first week of school certainly requires a lot of time and patience from students. For this reason, the Conestoga College Bookstore has teamed up with textbookrental.ca to reduce the amount of frustration and costs that students experience at the beginning of each semester and throughout the year.

As of Aug. 27, students were able to rent used textbooks, not only in-store, but also online through the bookstore’s “Your Bookstore and You” program.

While buying textbooks online is not something new to most Conestoga students, the option to rent is.

Adam Hustwitt, manager of retail and campus services at Conestoga College, understands the annoyance and high costs associated with purchasing textbooks in-store.

“I wanted to provide students with an option,” said Hustwitt.

With this service, students no longer have to endure the painful lineups in the bookstore that seem so unavoidable during the first week of school.

“It’s much better,” said Conestoga College student, Dave Pollock, adding he never wants to wait in those huge lines again.

Although buying textbooks online also eliminates this problem, renting offers other benefits that are appealing to students.

“The integration of textbook renting through the bookstore’s website provides students with the most convenient and cost-effective method of sourcing our textbooks,” said Brandon Luft, CEO of textbookrental.ca.

According to Luft, students are able to save up to 75 per cent by renting their textbooks online.

Online textbook rentals are available 24 hours a day, and “students also receive their order directly to their door, which saves them lots of time as they avoid the long lineups,” said Luft.

According to Hustwitt and Luft, while the textbook rental business is popular in the U.S., it has not yet caught on in Canada.

Since textbookrental.ca’s affiliation with the bookstore began, there has been positive feedback, not only from students, but from other bookstores hoping to provide the same option to their students.

With such an encouraging response, Luft believes that the textbook rental business will continue to grow as an option to students.

“I think the decision for schools such as Conestoga to take on textbook rental partners like us is a sign that the textbook landscape is changing,” Luft said. “Power is now more in the hands of the students to consider all their options and go with the service that provides the best price and the most user friendly experience.”

While not all textbooks are available to rent as of yet, Hustwitt hopes that by better promoting the bookstore’s Buyback program, more rental options will be available for students in upcoming years.

Students are expected to return their rented textbooks in good condition by the due date shown in their customer account; however, if they want to keep the textbooks they are able to do so by contacting customer service for a textbook rental buyout.

To rent textbooks online, go to www.conestogac.on.ca/bookstore, click “rent online” under the “Your Bookstore and You” section, and follow the instructions.