18 July 2011

From the Web: Renting Textbooks

Amazon is going to be renting textbooks this coming semester. But wait, there's more! They are renting textbooks for the Kindle.

Amazon promises up to 80% savings on Kindle textbook rentals. The site also promises that your highlights and annotations will still be available after your rental expires. That part I don't really get, but that's okay.

As a relatively new Kindle owner and one who is about to embark on graduate school, I would certainly consider renting my textbooks. My main concern is that there aren't enough titles in a Kindle format to make this possible.

After a quick search in journalism, history, education and science, I finally found a textbook available for rental. Introductory Chemistry by Zumdahl has a Kindle rental price. For three months you can rent the book for $55.22. If you want to buy it, the tome will set you back $114 on a Kindle. The hardcover is $129. Of course, this particular title won't do me any good since I will work on my MA in education, not chemistry.

The rental savings are significant, but the lack of available rentals could be a problem.