Amazon Now Offers Textbook Rentals

When I was a poor college student, I learned buying textbooks was a big part of my expenses.  I would always buy used books whenever I could, and I would sell them back to the bookstore if they weren’t one of my chemistry books.  Owners of the Amazon Kindle or reading apps are able to lighten their load by buying eBook versions of their textbooks, but the savings of buying used are lost with eBooks.  Just in time for the upcoming school year, Amazon has announced they are offering rentals of thousands of textbooks in digital format at up to 80% savings over buying the book.  You can choose the rental period you need – 30 days to 360 days, and you can extend the period by as little as one day, if needed.  You can even convert the rental to a purchase if you decide the book is a “keeper.”  You can read the book on your Kindle or in a Kindle reading app on a computer or mobile device.  You’ll be able to take notes in the book, and you’ll still be able to access the notes (online) after the rental period is over.  Learn more about Amazon’s textbook rental program and start searching for the books you’ll need. Your back and your bank account will thank you!  Now, if they’d only offer high school textbooks…

Posted in: eBook Readers, News

5 comments… add one

  • Michael July 20, 2011, 7:39 am

    Anyone thinking of downloading one of these should look carefully at its appearance. I’vd tried a few technical mathematics books and the appearance of symbols in some is rubbish and as a result equations are unreadable. Not sure if it is a Kindle OS problem or just publishers not trying hard enough.

    Michael

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  • Pipi July 21, 2011, 11:20 am

    No matter what this might seem at first glance, this is a digital rights SCAM on anyone who buys an ebook!! if amazon owns the ebook, it turns out that it can rent it as many times as it wants, but if I own the ebook I can’t even lend it, not to mention about rent it or re-selling it when I’m over.
    Is amazon some kind of ebook super-owner? or aren’t we all equals in terms of digital rights?

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  • Janet Cloninger July 21, 2011, 2:36 pm

    @Pipi It’s not like Amazon is doing back-alley rentals that the publishers don’t know about. Amazon probably pays royalties to the publisher for each book they rent out. It’s not that different than a library buying a digital book and lending it out. You’re still paying to rent that book, you just do it in the form of taxes you pay each year.

    3
  • Pipi July 22, 2011, 7:52 am

    When I buy an ebook I’m also paying royalties to the author. My point is not whether there is a revenue for the author or not. My point is that we are being lead to believe that we are no longer buying a copy of a book, but just a “licence” to read it just because there is no physical media asociated, hence I have no right to lend my copy to anyone else, or ultimately dispose of it as my likings.
    And this mind model being imposed on us is evidently not in the benefit of the authors’ income, but just in defense of the big e-media distributors.
    When a suitable bussiness oportunity arises for, say Amazon, the “no-physical-media argument” just disappears, and ebooks are treated as regular books. So evidently, the “licence-to-read” model is a leash on my former rights to do as I want with what I bought. Not to mention that they fashioned themselves a mean to erase my bought book whenever they feel like it.

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  • florence July 24, 2011, 10:24 pm

    Actually there is no fee to the author, nor publisher when a public library lends a book. In the US, the public lending right or remuneration right doesn’t hold. The first-sale doctrine allows library lending of media without additional fees.
    The spendings of a library account just for the costs of running the institution and stocking lending material.

    5

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