Students Save Money Through Amazon Rentals
Students tend to measure money in terms of the number of Taco Bell burritos they could get instead of whatever they have to buy. Assuming the student enjoys the Beefy Five Layer burrito, one unit of TBB (Taco Bell Burrito) equals about $.85.
Textbooks aren’t cheap. They often cost over $100, or 117 TBBs. The resentment a student feels paying this only triples when they return it at the end of the semester to find out it’s now only worth about 23 TBBs, or worse, none at all because their college is updating their version next year.
Luckily, Amazon-another student favorite-has a response, if not an answer. Students with a Kindle can rent textbooks from them for 30 days minimum, making it perfect for the single-month semesters some schools feature in January. Past that, rental is by the day. Since many schools run odd semesters, and the professors use several textbooks in their classes, 30 days will be all many students need. The included flexibility this gives students will help keep the total TBBs spent on a book that just lies around unused to a minimum.
Some students save up to 80 percent off the cover price, but those are likely the ones who are renting them for a short period of time. Each per-day charge remains reasonable, though, so don’t worry about it being too expensive to keep the book for your entire class. The savings are enough that many students can make up the amount they would spend on a Kindle just after one semester of renting through Amazon.
The move toward online education and storing academia in the cloud doesn’t end with simply renting textbooks from Amazon. For Amazon to be a major player in selling textbooks, they’re surprisingly working with students to help bring their costs down.
Kindle has also connected with libraries across the nation to offer free e-books. The process looks a lot like renting a book from the library in person, except students won’t have to drive to their local library. For students taking online classes, this means saved time from having to drive around their city. For those living away from home, it may be the only way they have access to content from their local libraries for most of the year.
There are some caveats, of course. Many libraries aren’t renting out e-books yet. However, about 11,000 libraries are lending them, and it looks like more will start. Since the library is basically lending someone the digital rights to a specific book, they’ll need it back. Due dates and renewals still exist, but it’s easy enough to renew a book through the Kindle.
The library rental program will also help students save money by letting them rent many of their books for English classes through the system. Using Amazon’s Whispersync technology, it’s also the only way they’ll ever be able to take notes on a library book. The notes will be saved in the cloud, and if they ever rent the book again, they’ll pop back into place.
If you’re interested in signing up for the ebook library program, call your local branch. If they participate in it, they’ll be able to tell you how to access their online portal and check out books. You’ll have to have a valid library card.
Students interested in the textbook rental program should just search for their books on Amazon’s regular website. If it’s available in a lendable ebook, it will show up next to the new and old versions.
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