Renting vs. Buying Books: Which Comes out on Top?

by Emily Roberts on March 10, 2013

booksIt’s become obvious lately that the cost of reading books by your favorite authors is beginning to cost not only an arm but a leg as well. Books that two years ago would cost you $4.99 are now costing upward of $7 and above. If you love to read but aren’t able to pay these huge prices, the library is not the only place you can get books anymore. In recent years there have been a few places that have opened up where you can rent books instead of buying them. But what are the pros and cons of renting vs. buying, and which comes out on top?

Pros of Buying Books

If you are a collector of books, then buying books is the way to go for you. If you have a favorite author and you own every single title they have ever written, then you will probably want to continue buying their books so that you have them.

Another pro to buying books is that you can read them again and again if you choose to. Many avid readers like to reread their favorite books, and you can’t do that if you rent and return them. Of course, you can rent them again, but who really wants to do that?

If you are buying textbooks as well, then you know how expensive they can be. However, if you buy them, you can sell them back to the bookstore, or in some cases you’re able to list them on the Internet and sell them to other students. On top of that, you can keep them to reference as you get further into school or even when you have started your career.

Pros of Renting Books

Rental places for books, and textbooks, have been around for a few years now. Think of it as a Netflix for books. On these rent-a-book sites you simply pay a monthly fee and can have a certain number of books out at one time, according to which plan you choose. There are over 20,000 books to choose from on a rental site, and you never run out of books to choose from.

One of the biggest pros to renting your novels is the selection; another is the fact that you can read them and mail them back. If you’re like me, you used to have boxes of books in the closet, living room, bedroom, attic, and about anywhere else a box would fit. Renting books means you read them, pop them in an envelope, and send them back. No more clutter!

If you are an avid reader like I am, and read more than a few books a month, it can get pretty expensive. With prices ranging from $7 to $20 a book, that’s a lot of greenbacks to dish out to read. With a rental program you can read as much as you want for a monthly fee.

If you are buying textbooks, which are going for hundreds of dollars at the moment, then renting them is a great option for you. You don’t have to worry about what you’re going to do with them at the end of the semester. You just pack the textbook up and send it on its way.

Cons of Buying Books

There are a few cons to both renting and buying books. If you don’t have anything to do with your books when you are done reading them, then they can become a bit of a problem. If you’re like me, you can’t bring yourself to throw them away, so they end up sitting in your house taking up space and collecting dust.

In the case of textbooks, if you buy them, you run the chance of them becoming outdated and also run a chance of not being able to sell them once the semester is over.

Cons of Renting Books

Renting books can have its own set of cons, though. If you are someone who reads your books more than once, renting may not be the way for you to go. If you only read a couple of books a month, then buying your books may be the best thing you can do. It all comes down to which way saves you the most money.

As far as textbooks are concerned, you never know when you may need to reference a book that you used in the past. So on that front the choice is yours as to whether you want them to be there or not.

In Conclusion

Whether you decide to rent or buy your books, the fact that you, and your children, are reading is the most important thing, so read on!

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