Paying an absurd price for a textbook is a college rite of passage - until now.
Amazon may have solved the problems of countless college students across the globe with its latest service, the Kindle Textbook Rental. With this service, students with a Kindle can save up to 80 percent off Textbook listed prices by renting their textbooks from the Kindle web store. Amazon says it has tens of thousands of textbooks from publishers like John Wiley & Sons, Elsevier and Taylor & Francis.
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% off the print list price on a 30-day rental, Dave Limp, vice president of Amazon Kindle, said in a statement.
Going even further, Amazon is letting students choose how long they want to rent a book for with availability from anywhere between 30 and 360 days. This way, students pay for how long they need the book for.
As a student, there's nothing frustrating than shelling out hundreds for a book that you only needed for a month. Amazon looks to solve this problem with this possible solution. The company is also aiming to go even further with its textbook rental service.
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, Limp said.
Amazon is not the only company to unveil such a service. Barnes & Noble revealed Nook Study back in August of last year, which is an eTextbook application that saves up to 60 percent. It also allows for the downloading of other class materials. Borders has also announced an online textbook marketplace.
For many, eBay is still a viable option for buying a used version of a textbook. There are also countless sites available for this sort of thing.
The Kindle can be bought for as cheap as $100 and the service can also be accessed on the Kindle app on PC, Mac, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Android-based devices.
Follow Gabriel Perna on Twitter at @GabrielSPerna