$17,000 JMD! 

According to respondents from a survey conducted by the team here at Peruse in June 2020, $17,000 Jamaican Dollars was the average price for their most expensive textbook. These respondents were students currently studying at the 6th form and tertiary levels in the Greater Kingston Metropolitan Region (GKMR) and Manchester. 77% of these respondents also stated that they did not buy physical textbooks but used e-books, which they also never bought; instead, these e-books were sourced through ‘complicit’ methods as the most affordable means.


Consider just another set of statistics… I promise you this is the very last of it.


The 2019 Consumer Affairs Commission’s Annual Textbook Price Survey reported a 6.6% increase in textbook average prices in the GKMR, compared to the 4.3% increase in inflation and the 3% devaluation in the Jamaican dollar to its US counterpart.


It is clear that Jamaican students at the higher levels require sustainable, affordable and legally compliant options for sourcing their textbooks.

So does that mean they have to buy them new at the nearest bookstore? Absolutely not! Instead, they can rent them. Here are a few advantages of textbook rentals and why this is the route you should go this Back to School:


1. Textbook Rentals Saves you Money   

First ( and most importantly as a cash strapped student), textbook rentals help you to save money when compared to buying a brand new textbook. University students can spend an impressive amount of money on textbooks each term. Believe it or not, the average student can easily spend over $75,000 Jamaican dollars on textbooks each year if they were to buy all the textbooks listed on their booklist. Imagine the fact that student loans or scholarships rarely cover the costs of the essential resources required to adequately function in the educational system. When you rent your textbooks, you will pay a fraction of the cover price of each book. Over the course of the year, that could save you hundreds on textbooks, freeing up more funds to help cover trips home or those late-night ramen noodle binges when you’re cramming for an exam.

For many students, the textbooks are only used maybe once or twice for different courses for the duration of their studies, so why pay full price when you don’t have to? Additionally, the return process with Peruse doesn’t cost you a thing once you return your textbooks by the specified deadline. Otherwise, you could have to pay a fine for each copy that’s late.


2. Textbook rentals are eco friendly (Woot Woot)

Millennials and Gen Zs will be the generations that help to save our planet from the destruction our parents encouraged. Ooops, did I just say that. 

What I meant to say was that by using rented textbooks, there will be a decrease in the demand for paper use and large amounts of electricity and water used by factories. Instead of putting a strain on the natural resources we depend on, you can save thousands of trees by renting textbooks rather than buying new ones.


3. Textbook Rentals encourages social distancing 

This Back to School season exists smack in the middle of a global pandemic and during this new normal, Honourable Brogard (correction, the Honourable Andrew Holness) has asked every citizen to limit their movement and avoid crowding. Bookstores are typically associated with crowding during back to school. When you rent your textbooks, there will be no need to visit a bookstore but instead, with Peruse, you can rent online and wait for your textbooks to be delivered. Just remember to wipe down packages with disinfectant before use because the Covid-19 virus is still here.


4. Textbook Rentals save you time and stress. 

Am I the only one who would  hyperventilate just thinking about the registration process for a new school term or hated the crowds in Kingston during the Back to School season? Dealing with securing textbooks at the beginning of the semester can be a source of stress. Honestly, you have more important things to worry about. You shouldn’t have to struggle with a crowded bookstore or shopping around for low costs when you should be focusing on getting a head start for that crazy 9 credit course. With textbook rentals, you can easily offload that burden. Additionally, return is super simple and free with Peruse. All you will need to do is print your postage paid label and take your rentals to the drop off locations. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!


Textbook rentals are a great alternative to buying books from your school’s  bookstore. But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect for everyone. If you’re the sentimental student who enjoys seeing your shelf crammed with textbooks, or you may be extremely messy and always have your hands in some cheesy snacks,  or maybe you have a sibling who is a year or two younger and gets all the hand-me-downs (story of my life), buying copies is your best choice. 


However, if you are like many Jamaican households that struggle with the costs for higher education, then rentals are for you. Visit our inventory and make your order today. 

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