Amazon will let students (or anyone) buy textbooks at a steep discount to their print list prices, and will charge them based on the amount of time they plan to hang on to the book.
The bookseller says it will generally require a minimum rental period of 30 days, and it will allow students to extend that period at their discretion. Renters will continue to be able to access notes and highlights they’ve made in their texts even after they’ve “returned” the books.
The only surprise here is that it took Amazon this long to get into the business. It introduced the Kindle in the fall of 2007, and since then a flood of startups, like Chegg, Kno and Inkling, have targeted the market. Barnes and Noble already has its own etextbook store.