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On Monday, announced a program that might help students defray their textbook costs: a textbook rental program called “Kindle Textbook Rental.”

According to, students can save as much as 80 percent off the purchase price of a textbook. The rental can be as short as 30 days, or as long as 360, or nearly an entire year. The rental period can also easily be extended, in increments as small as one day; the renter can also choose to purchase the book they are renting at any time, if they so desire.

Nicely, those who have used a Kindle know that you can make comments and annotations in a Kindle e-book; in the case of a rental textbook, those annotations will be stored in a user’s account and restored if he ever rents the book again or buys it in the future.

Naturally, due to’s “read everywhere” policy, renters can access the rentals not just via a real Kindle, but also though a Kindle reading app on PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones, Android, BlackBerry and Windows phones.

Amazon said that “tens of thousands of textbooks” are available from publishers that include John Wiley & Sons, Elsevier and Taylor & Francis.

To rent a textbook, you:

  • Search for your textbook in the Textbooks Store or from the search bar. If a Kindle edition is available for rent, a user will see an option in the Formats section on the textbook page. Select this option.
  • On the Kindle textbook page select your rental end date. Kindle textbooks can typically be rented for any length between 30 to 360 days – users pay only for the time you need and can extend or buy anytime.
  • Click on “Rent now with 1-click” button to place your rental order.

It’s not as though textbook rentals are a new idea, but textbook rentals of e-books: now that’s a new idea. While the idea may not work for all families, it certainly is a option worthy of consideration.


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