The Story Behind BookRenter

Like most students, BookRenter founder Colin Barceloux was frustrated with the high cost of textbooks, paying over $500 each quarter while at Santa Clara University. To help pay for textbooks (and other necessities like beer, food, and clothes), he worked as a campus mailman, and noticed a large number of discarded textbooks around campus. There were even huge stacks of books on the bookstore's "Zero Value Table," containing books that the bookstore wouldn't buy back. To Colin, something seemed wrong with the fact that a book's value could drop from $100 to $0 in a few months.

He started to collect all these unwanted books, and sold them online to students around the country. He realized that the practice of buying a book, using it, and selling it is really just a textbook rental, and the idea behind the company was born. After working at a few other companies, Colin teamed up with two Santa Clara engineers Chris Williams and Philippe Huibonhoa to start BookRenter.

We have grown tremendously since the early days of selling used textbooks for extra beer money, but our core mission — to make education more affordable for everyone — still drives us today.