Big news for the textbook rental industry. Amazon is now offering a textbook rental service just in time for the start of the upcoming school year.
They’re saying it’s going to save students as much as 70% off the typical retail price. I’m assuming teacher editions are also going to be included.
Here’s the skinny on the new service.
Honestly, it’s kind of surprising that it took Amazon this long to jump onto the textbook renting train. Companies like Chegg have been disrupting the textbook industry for years now. But after years of textbook rental, they’re pivoting to become an academic hub that focuses on homework help, scholarships, and being environmentally friendly.
Textbook rentals, to me, feel like a stopgap solution. We’re all slowly getting more accustomed to the idea that textbooks can and should be read on tablets. But the popularity of printed books means that we’ll be using them for quite a few more years.
At some point though, look for textbook rentals to become less popular and for e-book rentals to be the lion’s share of the industry. The times they are a-changing.