Summary:

Amazon is now renting print textbooks in addition to Kindle textbooks. In doing so, the company seeks to compete with Barnes & Noble as well as with startups like Chegg and BookRenter.

Last summer, Amazon launched Kindle textbook rental. Now the company is renting print textbooks as well, and its service could compete with textbook rental startups like Chegg and BookRenter as well as with Barnes & Noble’s print textbook rental program.

Amazon says “thousands” of print textbooks are available for rental, compared to “tens of thousands” of Kindle textbook rentals. While students can specify the amount of time they want to rent a Kindle textbook — between 30 and 360 days — Amazon’s print textbooks all rent for 130 days (a semester).

Based on the informal results of my browsing, it looks as though the print book rental price is usually under $70, and in the instances where a textbook was available for both Kindle rental and print rental, the rental prices were roughly comparable.

Students with Amazon Prime get free two-day shipping on textbook rentals and returns are free.

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