Renting may be a cheaper option for college students and parents in a time of tight finances, with college tuition and expenses a burden for many families. launched Kindle textbook rentals, promising tens of thousands of textbooks at discounts of as much as 80 percent less than purchase price on Monday.

Students tell us that they enjoy the low prices we offer on new and used print textbooks. 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, said Dave Limp, vice president, Amazon Kindle, in a press release.

Rented textbooks can be accessed across other devices - cell phone applications - as well, such as the Kindle smartphone app. In August 2010, book retailer Barnes & Noble unveiled a Web-based textbook rental service and in July 2010, Borders also announced an online textbook marketplace, though the company is currently embroiled in a bankruptcy proceeding.