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  (Source: digitaltrends.com)
Amazon is looking to give students' wallets a bit of relief by introducing Kindle Textbook Rental, which offers tens of thousands of textbooks from well-known textbook publishers like Elsevier, Taylor & Francis and John Wiley & Sons

For those of you who've lived the college experience, you know that the expenses don't end at tuition. Some may pay for room and board, and commuters may pay for parking passes. But one thing everyone must pay for are textbooks, and they certainly aren't cheap.

Now, Amazon is looking to give students' wallets a bit of relief by introducing Kindle Textbook Rental, which offers tens of thousands of textbooks from well-known textbook publishers like Elsevier, Taylor & Francis and John Wiley & Sons.

Kindle Textbook Rental allows for custom rental periods from 30 to 360 days, where a student only pays for the amount of time they need the book. This rental period can be extended at any time by as little as one day, and these books can even be purchased if the student desires to do so.

Also, the Kindle Textbook Rental service can save students up to 80 percent off on textbook list prices just by using the rental service.

"Students tell us that they enjoy the low prices we offer on new and used print textbooks," said Dave Limp, vice president of Amazon Kindle. "Now we're excited to offer students an option to rent Kindle textbooks and only pay for the time they need -- with savings up to 80 percent off the print list price on a 30-day rental."

In addition to allowing students to rent textbooks on their PC, Mac, Kindle or mobile device, the Kindle Textbook Rental service will allow you to store any notes or highlights you made into the cloud, which can be accessed from any device. This allows you to return the book after your rental period without losing that crucial information you noted.

"We've done a little something extra we think students will enjoy," said Limp. "Normally, when you sell your print textbook at the end of the semester you lose all the margin notes and highlights you made as you were studying. We're extending our Whispersync technology so that you get to keep and access all of your notes and highlighted content in the Amazon Cloud, available anytime, anywhere -- even after a rental expires. If you choose to rent again or buy at a later time, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced."


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Some downsides
By nafhan on 7/19/2011 12:22:12 PM , Rating: 2
Some downsides: for a semester long class where you need the book for the whole semester this would not be very helpful: 20% X 5 = 100% The "up to 80% off" makes me think this price will not be the norm, either. Also, couldn't help thinking about a college student accidentally renting a book for 3 months after the class is over, etc.

I can see some scenarios where this would be good, but for the most part it still seems like used books are the way to go (when possible).




RE: Some downsides
By derrickg on 7/19/2011 1:16:39 PM , Rating: 2
Given that you can often times sell your used book for about the same price you bought it for, used books are a no brainer. Most students sold their books through their bookstores, being gouged and pain only 10-20% of their books' costs... Smart students sell through bulletin boards, Amazon, or other services.


RE: Some downsides
By nafhan on 7/19/2011 1:33:25 PM , Rating: 2
Yep. There were a few semesters where I actually broke even selling my used books on Amazon.


RE: Some downsides
By Souka on 7/19/2011 4:36:32 PM , Rating: 2
After my "core" classes, many of my advanced books were those damn photocopied 3-ring or plastic-comb bound books that were not yet ready for publishing. Kinda like those MS-training manuals you get at boot-camps.

You know the ones.... lots of errors, a professors book in progress. Also sucked because they often made revisions every quarter or so and you couldn't sell them in most cases.

Doubt those would be available on the kindle....or will they? :)


RE: Some downsides
By TakinYourPoints on 7/19/2011 9:24:29 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. The price you pay for the Kindle version would be the same as you do now: physical convenience. From a strict price POV you're still better off buying used books.


RE: Some downsides
By GulWestfale on 7/19/2011 10:20:58 PM , Rating: 2
you are all right, but only right now.

once publishers small and large begin to realize that this is essentially an entirely new business model that amazon is offering here, they will begin to make books specifically for this program; and once enough important companies are on board, the pricing could change.

hopefully, in the long run (3-5 years from now), this will help to make a better education cheaper and thus more accessible to more people.


RE: Some downsides
By Souka on 7/20/2011 12:40:22 PM , Rating: 2
I suspect that eventually many books will be e-only... no printed format available.

The kindle (or ereader) will become another expense at college.

Far as saving money to the student? Hmmm... perhaps.


RE: Some downsides
By cjohnson2136 on 7/20/2011 2:48:26 PM , Rating: 2
I'd much rather spend 150 my freshman year as a one time fee. Then the cost of all those books. So yes it might be an additional fee but it's a fee that you pay one time


RE: Some downsides
By Natch on 7/19/2011 4:20:11 PM , Rating: 3
And, of course, there's the downside for the first dork to try to use a highlighter on his e-book....


RE: Some downsides
By cjohnson2136 on 7/19/2011 4:23:06 PM , Rating: 2
And, of course, there's the downside for the first jock to try to use a highlighter on his e-book....

Fixed it for you :)


RE: Some downsides
By Souka on 7/19/2011 6:38:03 PM , Rating: 2
no, the jock will try to fold it up and stick in his back pocket....


So nice
By borismkv on 7/19/2011 11:52:29 AM , Rating: 2
*man* I wish this was around when I was in college. Would have been so nice to not have to lug that damned backpack of books around campus all day. A kindle, a notebook, and a pen. That would be *so* nice.




RE: So nice
By cjohnson2136 on 7/19/2011 11:55:03 AM , Rating: 2
minus the pen...who needs paper anymore :)


RE: So nice
By borismkv on 7/20/2011 6:05:01 PM , Rating: 2
Damn it, you're making me feel old...I didn't have a laptop in college :(


RE: So nice
By kattanna on 7/20/2011 11:45:57 AM , Rating: 2
actually.. lose the kindle itself and simply use the netbook to read the kindle books.

my wife has a kindle, the smaller one, and while nice to read a fiction book, there just inst enough screen space to accommodate the needs of a real text book, IMO

I will be using my windows 7 tablet instead.


Sounds great
By GuinnessKMF on 7/19/2011 10:57:21 AM , Rating: 2
I love seeing digital media being properly used. This is fantastic and I wish it had existed when I was in school, now if only the movie and music industries could learn to embrace technology in a means that was mutually beneficial, instead of clutching to the idea that businesses never have to adapt.




RE: Sounds great
By MrBlastman on 7/19/2011 11:13:47 AM , Rating: 2
There is nothing mutually beneficial as far as the RIAA and MPAA are concerned. You are simply a turnip to be picked and they could care less about sharing their water to let you grow. They are the mafia, pay up or get sued.


RE: Sounds great
By MrBlastman on 7/19/2011 11:15:43 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, and I think this idea that Amazon has come up with is wonderful. It can only help to lower prices in an already ridiculously inflated College system. Fifty percent inflation of College tuition in the last ten years while there has been a real appreciable drop in mean income is such a sham.


Not a bad idea
By cjohnson2136 on 7/19/2011 10:59:55 AM , Rating: 2
I know I always liked Chegg for renting the books I didn't care about. Since I am an IS student I don't care about Bio so when I found out the used Bio book was 190 in the store and 150 on online I rented it for like 30 bucks. The renting of books can be a very successful business model and in Amazon's case there is no physical book they have to ship and have returned. As long as they have lots of books like they say this should work out in their favor.




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