Need College Textbooks? Check This Out ...

Back in the day, like before Colin was born, I used to write a regular website column about how to save money on college expenses. Because y'all? I've always been cheap frugal. Especially about stuff that's no fun to spend my hard-earned dough on, like college textbooks. I mean, you wouldn't even spend that much buying the entire Twilight series so it isn't cool to spend it on something you probably won't even enjoy reading. I know I wanted to just throw my textbooks out the window, most of the time.

Whether you're an actual young just-out-of-high-school college student on a Ramen-noodle and beer budget (or the parent of one) or an actual adult returning to college after a years-long hiatus, books are expensive any way you slice it. And in writing my column, I've researched all the options, like online booksellers, buying used, begging on bulletin boards and Facebook. Those are all okay, but these days there's a new method: renting your textbooks, and typically paying less than half the price you'd pay for new ones. Awwww yeaaaahhh.

That's where comes in. When they contacted me about doing a post, at first I was all, "Ehhh ..." but then I actually looked at them and figured out it really and sincerely is a pretty great thing. So I see this as, you know, a sort of public service announcement.

You can get the books you need and not break the bank: renting saves you from 40 - 90%. And with no fees to sign up, free shipping both ways, and a referral program where you can get $5 for each friend who also rents, saves you even more.

The premise is pretty straightforward and ridiculously simple. You rent the book for the desired length of time (a quarter, a semester, or for the summer). You can even highlight in it, just like it's yours. It comes with a handy-dandy return envelope, and when you're done with it, you just send it back. FOR FREE. If you decide you like the book and want to keep it, you can do that too - all you pay is the difference between your rental fees and the value of the book.

See? Totally easy. And everybody likes easy.

Check this out: my (and arguably most people's) favorite college textbook, Our Sexuality by Robert Crooks and Karla Baur. (What? Don't tell me you wouldn't be interested in thumbing through it, you pervs.) It retails for $153.95. But by clicking on this link and renting it from You can get it for as little as $29.90. Suh-weet.

Even better, has partnered with Operation Smile, an awesome organization that provides much-needed cleft lip surgeries to families who can't afford them. For each textbook rented, a portion of the proceeds are donated to Operation Smile. So while you're saving money on books, you can help a child who needs a life-changing surgery. TOTAL win-win situation (insert good karma here).

Anyway, if you or someone you love is in the market for college textbooks, renting them is a much cheaper (and risk-free-er!) option. Definitely worth a look, at least. And that, ladies and gents, is my two cents.

PS - you can also follow on Twitter to get access to giveaways, secret coupons, and a whole bunch of other fun stuff! Woot!