ECU Students Start Fall Semester While Bookstores Stay Competitive

More than 25,000 walked onto East Carolina University's campus on Tuesday for the first day of classes.

Both students and professors agree that textbooks aren't getting any cheaper. According to College Board, the average student will spend more than $1,000 on textbooks and materials each year.

Bookstores like the Dowdy Student Store and UBE in Uptown Greenville say more students are looking online to buy textbooks. To stay competitive, stores are now letting students rent textbooks as opposed to buying them outright. In some cases it can save students about $40 or more.

"We do everything we can to keep the price of textbooks down," says Tony Parker, textbook manager at UBE. "We rent textbooks, everything on our floor is pretty much rentable. Also, what we do is scour the third-party market and try to find used books as cheap as we can."

At least one ECU professor says he's done away with textbooks altogether. Dowdy Student Store also offers renting books in a digital form as a way for students to save.