In the next few months, students all over America will realize a major junk of tuition money goes to textbooks they’ll either never read or forget the contents of immediately after the final, like a quarterly therapeutic amnesia.
Facebook has tried to solve the problem with Marketplace and many professors have opted to post reading selections online. In the first step towards a far-reaching cheaper alternative, Barnes & Noble offered eTextbooks two years ago for up to 60% off the physical book price. With its free Nookstudy app, you can download digital versions to read on your PC and Mac.
And now, Amazon is taking the e-reading textbook to a new plateau with its Kindle Textbook Rental. The app not only allows you to rent from tens of thousands of textbooks from any type of smartphone or tablet, but also enables you to highlight and take notes that you can access in the Amazon Cloud long after the rental is over.
The online warehouse giant also claims an 80% maximum discount for books that can be rented anywhere from 30 to 360 days. The textbook market is certainly viable for improvement: Mashable notes that each student spends $745 on average for class books, leading to a total of $10.25 billion in sales at college stores in ’09-’10. And Amazon is surely primed to take the lead: the site sold five e-books for every paper book since April.
Would you use this service? As not-so-recent grads who no longer have to suffer through pages of academia, we’d love to hear from those of you who have given it a try.