Monthly Archives: October 2010

Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, or Peet’s? BookRenter Taste Test

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Guest Written by BookRenter Briana

No doubt about it, Americans love their coffee in the morning! But which do people really prefer?  Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, or Peet’s is the real question around our office. Over 100 million people drink coffee everyday so we want to know if people would really know the difference in their coffee of choice. We decided to take it upon ourselves to do a taste test for our employees to see if there is really a difference in taste and quality.

We set up a nifty stand with 3 different coffee pots to choose from. Our employees had no idea which coffee brand they were drinking but they voted on the one they enjoyed the most.

And the winner……STARBUCKS!

Runner up was Peet’s and last but not least was Dunkin’ Donuts. All tallies were very close, a point separating each one.

Some of our staff was surprised they didn’t choose their favorite coffee which makes me think, can people really tell the difference in their coffee they drink? With all the choices in coffee creamer flavors and sweeteners I’m not sure how one could tell the difference.

So what do people really enjoy about the delicious taste of coffee? And do they really know the difference in their particular brew of choice? I guess we can ask our staff once they stop shaking from their caffeine high.

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Dorm Room 101: How to Spruce up a Sheisty Dorm Room

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Guest Written by BookRenter Andy

The first day you walk into your Freshman year dorm room is a memorable one. I remember mine – linoleum floors and a tiny bedroom with bunk beds. My roommate Mike had brought 4 giant plastic bathtubs full of junk and stuffed them under the bed. They were so large that he needed to put the bed on stilts in order to fit them under the bottom bed. As a result I woke up every morning with my nose a few inches from the ceiling, sniffing the old paint and wondering why I came to the New Jersey to go to college (it also didn’t help that my dorm and the surrounding buildings were built in the 1950’s to resemble a prison camp, no joke).

Which brings us to the topic of the day: How do you spruce up a sheisty dorm room? Let’s start with the immediate bed area, perhaps the dreaded top bunk. A friend of mine name “Cow Man” had a great idea Freshman year: make the top bunk into a hangout/fort area. Cow started by putting in a “corner” shelf to house books and a lamp – these are essential. Without a corner shelf, you’re nothing on the top bunk. Cow also surrounded himself with pictures of his friends on the top bunk walls, as if he was in a fairly land where all his friends hung out on the top bunk with him, as opposed to real life where he hung out on the top bunk by himself.

The key to happy dorm room living is all about organization. If you’re organized, you’re clean. If you’re clean, you’re happy, and you probably smell good.

Let’s start with the desk. First, wrangle up your cords. Gotta have wrangled cords. I’d also go out and buy a file cabinet of some sort. For all the loose-leaf you’ll acquire over the next four years. So now you’ve got your cords wrangled, your loose-leaf organized, toss your pens and such in the file cabinet, and you are ready to think about the look and feel of your space.

Mike and I created an “animal wall” freshman year, which mostly consisted of animal photos we’d cut out from our other roommate Jon’s National Geographic collection. It didn’t cost us anything, because we didn’t pay for the National Geographics – Jon did. Now that we have reached the end of my decorating skills here are a few places to check out;

DIY: 10 tips for decorating your dorm room, plus more ideas by Rana Cash

Delicious Dorms! College Dorm Room Decorating Ideas for a Delicious Dorm Life.

Dorm 101: Must-Haves for Dorm Room Organization Written by Ashley – Flagler College

Of course, this being the digital age, dorm room design is now possible from your computer. BookRenter Brianna, my colleague and desk neighbor, recently came across DesignYourDorm which can help you plan and design your college dorm. You can view a 3-D rendered image of what your dorm room looks like, then decorate it with REAL products from, which you can buy, if you like. No go out there and decorate your dorm room.

Comment on our blog from  now and until the end of November and be entered in to win one of our weekly coffee giveaways. Each winner will receive a $10 gift card, to one of the following: Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, or TBD.  Winners will be chosen at random and announced each Wednesday beginning this Wednesday, Oct. 27th. Promotion Rules and Terms

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Coffee Talk! (And oh, check out our new blog.)

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As it is smack dab in the middle of mid-terms for a lot of our readers we figured,

”Hey, it’s the perfect time for some coffee talk!”

Comment on our blog from now and until the end of November and be entered in to win one of our weekly coffee giveaways. Each winner will receive a $10 gift card, to one of the following: Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, or TBD.  Winners will be chosen at random and announced each Wednesday beginning this Wednesday, Oct. 27th. Promotion Rules and Terms

Hey, what do you think of our new blog?

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And the winners are………

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Lulu was our Grand Prize Winner of one year of free textbooks ($1,000 value) Back to School Sweepstakes.

Lulu a CalState fulerton senior was over joyed when she got the news:

I just want to say I LOVEEEEEE BOOKRENTER!!!!  I am sooooo excited to have won this sweepstake. 🙂 When I the news  I was jumping up and down screaming. Thank you sooooooo much and the one year of free textbook rentals will really be a big help to me towards school.

Lulu is currently enrolled in two school to try and meet her goal of graduating in 2011. She is an international business major- dreaming to someday work for herself.


Steven a Psychology major at Albright College was the winner of our $250 Scholarship!

A surprised Steven said:

For once, luck is on my side. I happened upon a way to save a lot of money on my books. Winning some extra money is always a plus.  Asked what he planed on doing with his winnings he said, ‘ I don’t know right now. I will most likely put it aside and save it for something important.

This past semester Steven saved $200 by renting his books from BookRenter! “Got what I needed, when I needed it. Saved around $200 this semester. Will use BookRenter again.”

Congrats to both Lulu and Steven! Hope you both have a great semester!

You can enter our Scholarship on our Facebook Fan page;


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Top 3 Tips: Studying for Midterms

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October. One of my favorite months filled with playoff baseball, outrageous Halloween parties, and of course great NFL and college football games! But October is also an incredibly bittersweet month because of one word: Midterms. I find myself sitting in the library on this Sunday night overloaded with work and trying to figure out how I am going to get by the next two weeks. My calendar reads two tests, two papers, one quiz, and three problem sets or in plain English “no sleep for you!”

However, as a 4th year at Virginia I’ve encountered this kind of killer stretch before and every time I seem to come out unscathed and surprisingly well rested. Although midterms aren’t easy they are manageable and as such here are some great tips from around the web that should help you score an A on your hardest test or at least make sure you wake up in time for your exam unlike my friend to the right!

1. Procrastination is your enemy not your friend: Everybody knows that procrastination is bad but yet everybody seems to do it. Let’s be honest, the best time to write a paper is the night before its due, right? Wrong! While you may think you’re performing better, all-nighters impede memory retention and help convince you that attending class is meaningless. So how can you avoid it? Luke Turcotte at Hack College wrote out 5 quick tips for avoiding procrastination and #5 on his list is “Just do it”. Hmm, I thought I was procrastinating because I didn’t want to do it? But seriously it’s a great list and will help you finish your assignments promptly and on time. (via

2. Distribute your studying time wisely and efficiently: Every teacher I have had since elementary school has preached to the class the importance of time management. Managing your time wisely is difficult at times because your schedule is in a constant state of flux and teachers are constantly assigning new material. But that’s OK, college students are incredibly adaptive and as Stefan Knapen notes must students “only study when it is needed”. According to Stefan, college students fall under 3 time distributions and knowing which category you are in will help you understand your study habits. Chances are you already practice good time management, you just don’t know it yet. (via

3. Find the best study spot besides the overcrowded library: First year students tend to forget that there are other spots to study besides the main library and it’s often a crucial mistake. Go off the beaten path just a bit and you’ll find study nooks that you didn’t think possible. Good places to start are law, business, and fine art libraries or search for empty classrooms that you can use for group study sessions. Don’t know what to look for in a good study area? Dan N provides a recipe for the perfect study session with the three main ingredients being lighting, comfort, and distraction. Maximizing comfort while minimizing distractions will increase memory retention and help you study quickly and more efficiently. (via

Chances are if you read this far you’re probably procrastinating from finishing an important paper or studying for a test. But that’s OK, relax! Although I have a tough two weeks ahead of me, all I can think about right now is that the San Francisco Giants are NL West Champions! Probably not the best way to study but hey, I’ve done this before and I’ll do it again just like you will. Good luck on your midterms and happy studying!

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