You know buying textbooks are annoying. They are expensive, heavy, slightly different every year, and useless after the course final. Amazon is trying to change that. Although Amazon can sell the textbooks at a lower rate than a standard hardcover issue, they want to make it more affordable. Amazon has released a service that lets students rent textbooks on the Kindle, saving students up to 80% off the textbook list prices.
Amazon has said that students can customize the rental periods of their Kindle textbooks from 30 days to 360 days, allowing students to pay for the time they need the book. Not only they can set a rental period, they can also extend their current rental period (as little as one day) while renting the Kindle textbook if needed. Amazon is also extending its Whispersync technology so students can store and access their notes and highlighted content in Amazon cloud, even after the textbook rental period expire.
Currently Amazon says they have “tens of thousands of textbooks’ available for rent or bought for the Kindle for the 2011 school year. Publishers like John Wiley & Sons, Elsevier and Taylor & Francis have e-books ready to be bought/rented on the Amazon.
Amazon’s Kindle can be seen in many devices, including the PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android device, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry, and Kindle.
It will be fun to see how much of a threat Amazon is compared to companies like Chegg and BookRenter. Currently, companies like Chegg and BookRenter allows students to rent hardcover/paperback textbooks at a low price.