Amazon introduced its new textbook rental service today, just in time for back-to-school season. Similar to other rental sites like Chegg and UW’s University Bookstore rentals, Amazon offers students the option to pay a fraction of the book’s cover price to borrow the book for 130 days (one semester). Students then send the books back, free of return shipping, in like-new condition. This service is a great idea for students who have a difficult time paying full price for textbooks, but need them for a course.
Textbook rental is nothing new, but a company like Amazon joining the market may change things for it in the near future. Amazon also currently offers eBook rentals, available for reading through their Kindle devices and apps.