Amazon now renting old-fashioned paper textbooks

Amazon now offers physical textbook rentals as a less expensive option for students, a move built to keep Amazon as a dominant player in textbooks. While Amazon has offered digital rentals of textbooks for over a year, this new initiative will deal with scholars who feel more content with old school paper books for studying. It also increases Amazon’s rental selection significantly because many books aren’t yet available as electronic books.

Almost all of the textbook options Amazon offers for lease cost between $30 to $60. Rentals are by the semester ( 130 days ), and there’s free delivery forwards and backwards for delivery. Physical rentals are available only in the U.S. For those nervous about getting a second user textbook with plenty of doodled notes within, Amazon is doing QC. The company will permit a “minimal” quantity of note-taking in the textbooks. If a student adds “excessive writing or highlighting” to a leased textbook and makes an attempt to ship it back, she or he will be charged the full price of the book minus rental costs. Amazon’s entry into physical book leasing could hurt rival services like Chegg and BookRenter. Particularly , Chegg originally started as a physical textbook rental service but added digital textbook rentals to combat Amazon.