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Textbook Rentals

Why rent?

  • Renting saves on average, 50% compared to a new, printed textbook
  • In-store and online availability
  • Normal highlighting and note-taking are acceptable
  • Free return shipping if you rent online as a registered user

Who am I renting from?

The College offers an "in-store" rental whereby selected titles are designated with a colored shelf tag showing both the new/used purchase prices and rental price.  Transactions are done at the Bookstore's cash register area  We also have an "online" rental program with Sidewalk, whereby books are shipped directly by them, either to The 'Berg Bookshop or your home address.

Click here to rent books that are shipped directly by Sidewalk.  NOTE: If shipping to the Bookstore, the shipping address MUST be entered as follows:

2400 Chew Street
The 'Berg Bookshop
Allentown, PA  18104

    How do I rent?

    It's simple!  If ordering from The 'Berg Bookshop web site, search for your course and section, select the rental items available for your course, and add them to your shopping cart.  IMPORTANT: Upon checkout, be sure to enter your FULL, 9-digit Muhlenberg ID (without hypens, i.e. 004719458) and Muhlenberg e-mail address.  Entering a different e-mail address will not enable you to receive an e-mail reminder to return your book(s).

    Or, stop into The 'Berg Bookshop and check for designated in-store rentals.  Take the book from the shelf and bring it to the cash register to checkout.  In many cases, both new and used copies are rentable.  Most forms of payment currently accepted at the store can be used for rentals.  A credit card is required to secure the transaction, even if you pay with another method.

    How do I know which books are available as rental?

    We post the list of textbook rentals on the store's web site (along with the new and used prices), as well as show rental pricing on the book shelf tags.  The web site also shows rental books available through Sidewalk.

    Why can't I rent all of my books?

    Each semester, our book list is provided to our wholesale partner that designates, based upon supply and demand, which books are in-store rentals.  Over time, we'll be looking to expand our in-store rental partnership with other wholesalers.  Having Sidewalk as an online partner provided more breadth to the program, offering additional rental titles that the wholesaler might not.

    Can I highlight and take notes?

    Normal highlighting and note-taking are perfectly acceptable. Excessive markings that would render the book unusable for the next customer are discouraged.

    Why is a credit card necessary? 

    In the event you forget to return the book, returned after the due date, or is damaged, we have a means for processing the replacement or late fees as described in your Rental Agreement.

    How long is the rental period?

    The rental period begins the day you pay for the textbook rental and continues until the last day of finals, as shown on your cash register receipt/Rental Agreement.  All rented textbooks must be returned to The 'Berg Bookshop, in good condition, by the Rental Return Due Date.

    When is the rental return date?

    If you ordered online, return all rented books to the Bookstore by the return date on your receipt or packing slip. This should allow you to use your books through final exams. Sidewalk or the Bookstore sends a reminder email towards the end of term to help you remember to bring your rented books back.  In-store rentals should be brought back to the textbook buyback area during finals week. 

    Online rentals should be returned directly to Sidewalk.  With your rental, you'll receive a bubble envelope with a prepaid USPS label attached to the outside. When you're ready to return your book(s), simply place them inside the return envelope and drop the package off at the campus Mail Room or nearest USPS drop box. A return label can also be printed from your online account.

    Can the Bookstore refuse to accept my textbook rental when I return it?

    Yes, if it is not returned in good condition.  Good condition will be judged by the Bookstore staff alone, and generally means the book spine intact, no excessive damage to the cover or content pages, all original pages intact, all original components present, and no excessive highlighting, writing, or other markings.  Normal-use highlighting and writing is permitted.  If the Bookstore staff determines your book to be not acceptable for return, you'll be charged for a replacement copy.

    What if I forget to return the rental by its due date?

    If you don't return your books by your return date, Sidewalk will charge an extension fee; the store will charge a late fee of $20.00.

    What happens if I lose or never return a rented book?

    You will be charged the replacement fee (the difference between the rental price paid and the new retail price of the book) and a late fee of $20.00. You can keep the book, sell it online, or attempt to sell it back to the Bookstore.

    What if I rent a book and then decide I need to keep it?

    Within the store's refund period, you can convert your rental into a standard purchase. You'll receive a refund of your rental fee and be charged regular retail price based on the book's condition when purchased (new or used).

    What happens if I drop a class?

    You can return the book and receive a refund of the rental cost during the normal refund period. Of course, the regular refund policy will still apply: the book needs to be in the same condition as it was when it was rented and you'll need a copy of your Bookstore cash register receipt or Rafter's packing slip.