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article imageAmazon unveils Kindle Textbook Rental, promises 80% savings

By Andrew Moran     Jul 18, 2011 in Business
Seattle - Instead of purchasing university or college textbooks at outlandish prices, Amazon has unveiled a new service that allows students to rent textbooks for the time you need. Kindle Textbook Rental promises students will save up to 80 percent.
Textbooks are one of the most expensive items for a post-secondary education student – tuition being the highest. Students can spend hundreds of dollars for a single textbook and thousands of dollars for a whole set.
Amazon sells new and used textbooks at reasonable prices. For example, a standard university calculus textbook costs $150 for a new one and as little as $22 for a used one.
On Monday, Amazon unveiled the Kindle Textbook Rental, which will allow students to save up to 80 percent off the retail prices of textbooks by renting them as ebooks from its Kindle Store. The process is described as a library, but instead you pay for the textbooks for an allotted period of time.
Students can pay for the textbook for the time they need. Rental lengths can range from 30 days to 360 days. Users can extend the rental length in one-day increments as many times as a student needs. They can also access any annotations at anytime even after the rental expires.
One download can be accessed anywhere. The downloaded textbook can be viewed on a user’s iPad, iPhone, PC, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7 and the Android Device as long as the Kindle reading app is applied.
“Students tell us that they enjoy the low prices we offer on new and used print textbooks,” said Amazon Kindle Vice-President, Dave Limp, in a press release. “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.”
A user can search through the company’s Textbooks Store, which contains thousands upon thousands of textbooks. If the textbook is available through the Kindle app, there will be information pertaining to the cost.
After searching through the various textbooks section, the prices are lower than the actual hardcover and paperback. For example, “Introduction to Journalism: Essential techniques and background knowledge” costs between $28 (used) and $40 (new), but to rent it costs $15.
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