Category Archives: Company Updates

That’s $101 Million In Your Pockets

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By VP of Business Development and Founder Colin Barceloux
Colin has a BS in Management Information Systems and a Minor in Information Technology from Santa Clara University where he graduated with Honors in 2003. Colin resides in San Francisco and is an avid snowboarder, basketball enthusiast, mountain biker, and golfer.

Today, we announced that BookRenter has saved students over $101 million dollars off the cost of textbooks. This is not only a special day for BookRenter, but also for me personally. When I started BookRenter I hoped that we’d reach a point where we would help so many students afford school, but now I can see this is really just the beginning. I got the idea to start BookRenter when I was a college student at Santa Clara University. Like students today, I was extremely frustrated with the high cost of textbooks. While at school, I worked three part-time jobs to help cover my out of pocket expenses, and textbooks were always the largest. The more I thought about it, the more I realized the status quo – buying textbooks and selling them back – is just a really expensive rental. When I started BookRenter, textbook rental was a new thing and today thanks in large part to BookRenter, rentals are fast becoming the preferred method for getting course materials.

From the very beginning, our mission at BookRenter has been to make education more affordable. After tuition, textbooks are the largest educational expense. Course materials cost on average $1,137 per year (College Board); that is a staggering number. For the millions of people attending community college, that averages about 40% of the annual cost of education. By renting textbooks, students can save up to 80%– that’s about $500 per year depending on what you study. When you start to apply that savings across the student population of the US, the result is tremendous. And for students scraping by on loans and grants to get through school, the impact of textbook rental takes on a whole new meaning. We created this picture to help people see how huge textbook rental can be. It makes us realize that $101 million is really just the beginning; $172 billion, here we come.

The Surprising Economic Impact of Renting VS. Buying (Infographic)


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Packing for a Purpose: Helping Change the World – 1 Bag at a Time

Filed under: College Life, Company Updates - BookRenter Team
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Pack For A Purpose
At my college, students are not just encouraged but required to hold at least one internship their junior or senior year. What you do is up to you as long as it captures your personal interests and takes advantage of your skills.

Which is why I feel extremely lucky: I get to intern with a program that involves international affairs and does a great deal of good for the world by taking advantage of the extra space in a traveler’s suitcase to send much needed  school supplies to children in need. The organization, the non-profit Pack for a Purpose, is helping to spread the word about responsible tourism and how small things can make a big difference in the developing world.

Created in December of 2009 by Rebecca and Scott Rothney, Pack for a Purpose provides travelers with information on how they can use a small amount of space in their luggage to carry a wide variety of items to community-based projects in over 100 destinations around the world.

Here’s how it works: Travelers log on to and select a destination to see what programs and drop-off points are nearby. The website even includes lists of needed items so that you know just what to bring.

Rothney thought of the idea for the organization after she and her husband made their first trip to Africa.

“On our first trip, Scott and I learned that while we were limited to 40 pounds of luggage on safari, the airline itself had an allowance of 140 pounds for luggage,” Rothney says. “So, for our second trip, we looked into visiting a school near the lodge we would visit in Botswana and contacted our safari company, Wilderness Safaris, to see if there were things the school needed that we might be able to provide.” Armed with that information, the couple was able to deliver 140 pounds of classroom supplies to the school. “It was enormously rewarding,” says Rothney, “to be able to help the people in the community that had given us such a life-enriching experience. “

While the idea of packing with others in mind is great, it’s something most people don’t think of until it’s too late.

“I asked our travel agent why other travelers didn’t use their luggage allowances in this way.” Rothney explains. His answer was ‘Because nobody thinks about it.’ That was our aha moment.”

Learn more about Pack for a Purpose by heading to the website or visiting the site’s Facebook and Twitter pages.  Then you, too, will be ready to help change the world – one bag at a time!

By Guest Blogger Brittany Goodman I PEACE COLLEGE: Creative. Well-connected. Has interned with non-profits in Germany, England, and South Korea. Believes in social media as a form of communication that’s every bit as important and meaningful as any other channel (we agree!).    

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Friday RAK

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By BookRenter Andy

In case you’ve been missing out on our extensive coverage here on Tiki’s Bookshelf, RAK week is taking hold around the country. Check out this student organization at Michigan (aptly named DoRAK). All they do is random nice stuff! It’s amazing how many websites and organizations out there are completely dedicated to doing RAKs. Here’s another good one.

It’s Friday morning here at BookRenter HQ and you can feel the long weekend’s excitement electrifying the BookRenter office air.  Just ‘cuz you don’t have school or work tomorrow doesn’t mean that RAK week is over, so don’t go shirking on your RAK duties. RAK week adheres to the normal calendar week and goes through Saturday night – you’re not out of the oven yet.

Sprinkles Cupcakes for RAK

In our office, RAK of the week award goes to BookRenter Rebecca for bringing in a giant batch of delicious Sprinkles Cupcakes.  Negative RAK of the week award goes to BookRenter Andy for forgetting to get Rebecca’s lunch. [ed: No negative RAK points were given this week.]

Please tell us about your own RAK’s by posting them in the comments below! We’ll feature the best one on Monday in the blog, and give you a special treat to boot!

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Donating Clothing for RAK Week

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By BookRenter Briana

Clothing for Donation

That’s right, I’m doing my share of random acts of kindness. Not only did I refrain from flipping off the girl who cut me off this morning when it was pouring rain [ed: Sorry BookRenter Briana, we’re not counting that], but I also spent last night going through my closet to collect clothes for donation. I figure if you haven’t worn something in an entire year, get rid of it and give it to people who actually need it!

According to Every Monday Matters, 20 billion pounds of clothing a year are wasted and thrown away. Hello, that’s 68 pounds per person (a large child’s worth of clothing).

Seriously, it’s not that hard to take your old clothes to your local Salvation Army or church, and it’s a great RAK! There’s a ton of organizations that will gladly take your unwanted clothes. I give my closet a good cleaning every year and do it.

What RAK’s have you done?

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Random Acts of Kindness Week

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By BookRenter Eric

by katerha

In 1995 the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation was formed with the hopes of inspiring people to practice kindness and pass it on to others. After coming across their site I couldn’t help but notice the cool stories section where you can read member’s stories and watch videos. Also, if you’re in need of some inspiration you can browse the kindness ideas section. There are some really good ideas here ranging from giving care packs to the homeless to donating used books to a library.

So now, I challenge you to go out and make a difference. Do something nice for someone this week and maybe it’ll turn into a habit .

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