Amazon Offers eTextbook Rentals

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With the impending shutdown of all Borders stores, it feels like eBooks are taking over the world more than ever. The latest in electronic news? Amazon announced that they’re going to start renting out electronic textbooks for college students.

By entering the rental market, Amazon will be joining successful companies like Chegg and Bookrenter that cater to college consumers, albeit with an electronic twist. Students will be able to rent textbooks from Amazon for a period ranging anywhere from 30 days to one year, with the opportunity to extend the lending time.

According to Amazon’s press release last week, the company claims that it will save students 80 percent compared to list prices. These eTextbooks will be available on the Kindle, and due to reading software that makes Kindle books compatible with various computers, smartphones and Apple products, students will be able to access their textbooks on multiple platforms. The rental option is now available for tens of thousands of textbooks featured on the site.

The economy’s still rough and college costs are still high, so Amazon has the right idea to offer the rental option to college students. The Kindle will now also pose as more of a competitor with Barnes & Noble’s NOOK eReader, which includes the NOOKstudy electronic textbook option.

What do you think? Will you start renting eTextbooks for class?

Senior > English & Creative Writing > Fordham University

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