Digital Textbooks

Amazon Launches On Demand Textbook Rental for Kindle

Online retailer Amazon.com now allows students to rent textbooks on its popular Kindle tablet on demand, which, the company says, could result in discounts of up to 80 percent. Students can customize the length of their rental period, purchasing any amount of on-demand access from 30 to 360 days, meaning they do not pay for time they do not need.

Online retailer Amazon.com now allows students to rent textbooks on its popular Kindle tablet on demand, which, the company says, could result in discounts of up to 80 percent.

The new rental service will make tens of thousands of textbooks available, from major publishers such as John Wiley & Sons, Elsevier, and Taylor & Francis. Students can customize the length of their rental period, purchasing any amount of on-demand access from 30 to 360 days, meaning they do not pay for time they do not need.

Once purchased, rented texts can be read across additional platforms via free Kindle Reading apps for the PC, iPad, BlackBerry, and Android-based devices.

Students can also highlight text and make margin notes directly on the tablet, which can be saved in the Amazon Cloud through an extension of the company’s syncing technology, called Whispersync.

"Normally, when you sell your print textbook at the end of the semester you lose all the margin notes and highlights you made as you were studying," said Amazon Kindle Vice President Dave Limp in a statement announcing the rental program’s launch. "We're extending our Whispersync technology so that you get to keep and access all of your notes and highlighted content in the Amazon Cloud, available anytime, anywhere--even after a rental expires. If you choose to rent again or buy at a later time, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced."

Additional information about the rental program is available on Amazon’s website.


About the Author

Stephen Noonoo is a contributing editor. He is on Twitter @stephenoonoo.

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