Amazon.com announced the launch of its new Kindle Textbook Rental service on Monday, saying that e-book rentals from the Kindle store will allow college students to save up to 80 percent off textbook list prices, according to MSNBC.
"Students tell us that they enjoy the low prices we offer on new and used print textbooks. Now we're excited to offer students an option to rent Kindle textbooks and only pay for the time they need,” said Dave Limp, the vice-president of Amazon Kindle.
With Kindle Textbook Rental, students will be able to rent books for periods between 30 and 360 days, and the cost will be based on the length of the rental period. The option to purchase the rental book at any time will also be available.
Will college students use this service?
According to a study by NACS OnCampus Research, 75 percent of students said they prefer print textbooks to digital textbooks, reported MSNBC. However, cash-strapped college students do turn to digital and rental textbooks in order to save money.
But is it really worth it?
Not with every book. The hardcover textbook “Intermediate Accounting” by Donald E. Kieso, Jerry J. Weygandt and Terry D. Warfield sells on Amazon.com for $195.99, and the full digital list price of the book is $136.50. With Kindle Textbook Rental, students would pay $38.29 for a 30-day rental; $47.86 for a 60-day rental; $56.30 for a 90-day rental and $61.00 a 120-day rental, which is about the length of a typical semester. However, used hardcover copies are available on Amazon starting at just over $43.