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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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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

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