Kindle lets students rent digital textbooks

Jul 18, 2011

Amazon.com on Monday began letting students rent textbooks on Kindle electronic readers.

Kindle Textbook Rentals lets students pay based on how long they want to use textbooks, with periods ranging from 30 days to 360 days.

Renting a digital version of textbooks on a for a month can save students as much as 80 percent of the price of buying the works, according to vice president Dave Limp.

"Students tell us that they enjoy the low prices we offer on new and used print textbooks," Limp said.

"Now we're excited to offer students an option to rent Kindle textbooks and only pay for the time they need," he continued.

Amazon boasted having tens of thousands of digitized textbooks at amazon.com/kindletextbooks from such as John Wiley & Sons, Elsevier and Taylor & Francis.

Margin notes and highlights added to rented textbooks will be saved on servers in the "Amazon Cloud" to let students access them anew when then rent works again, according to Limp.

Rented Kindle can be read on many device including iPads, smartphones, computers, and iPod touch devices.

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Sanescience
5 / 5 (1) Jul 18, 2011
Maybe for literature, but actual text books, probably won't work so well. A lot of professors and publishers have a racket going where you have to buy the latest revised version such that all the previous year's books are now "outdated".

So went traveling with my brother, he had his Kindle for one day, and accidentally sat on it, breaking the screen. So much for that!
SemiNerd
5 / 5 (1) Jul 18, 2011
It seems like a racket when you are a student, but its much less so when your the author. Consider the enormous amount of time it takes to prepare a textbook for a college course. A full year of work at 40 hrs/week is not unreasonable. Many take a lot more than that. Then consider how many of them that get sold. A textbook (for college) that sells 10,000 copies or more is considered a runaway bestseller in that market. Most sell quantities in the hundreds or a few thousand.

If professors do not see any return on textbooks, they won't write them except for ego and perhaps if they are independently wealthy. Most professors simply won't do it today because the payback is so small. Would you work for 20 cents an hour?
antonima
4.5 / 5 (2) Jul 18, 2011
@SemiNerd

They rarely assign books like that, at least during my experience. I've had professors assign textbooks from our own department, and then never use them again! The ones that we usually have to read are from enormous publishing houses which cater to the majority of high schools and colleges.

I'm sure the authors don't make even 1% of the revenue of the books though, its mostly just publishing companies. A lot of times its possible to get away with using a previous edition however and thats what a lot of people do to save money.

Writing a textbook seems like an enormous amount of work. I would be impressed if an individual managed it in one year. I'm sure its great for the ego, and maybe good for reviewing ones own knowledge? Also, it must be quite a stress to make sure all the info is up to date.

Still, most of the time I'd rather have the hardcover in my library, so I don't think this kindle rental deal will appeal to everyone.
Jaeherys
not rated yet Jul 18, 2011
This will come in handy for gen. ed. courses and otheres where you have to buy the textbook but you really won't ever use it again.

But I guess it doesn't really apply once you get into the later years.

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