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Amazon.com launches Kindle textbook rentals with up to 80% off

July 18, 2011 | 10:27 am

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Amazon.com launched Kindle textbook rentals, promising "tens of thousands of textbooks" at discounts of as much as 80% less than purchase price on Monday. 

Students can rent a textbook for as little as 30 days or up to 360 days, with fees differing depending on how long the book is rented, Amazon said in a statement.

Rentals can be read on Amazon's Kindle eReaders, as well as Kindle apps for Macs and PCs, as well as smartphones and tablet computers running Apple's iOS, Microsoft Windows Phone 7 and Google's Android operating system.

Once the rental period for a textbook is up, students can choose to either purchase books or rent them again if needed for a period as little as one extra day, the Seattle-based online retailer said. 

Among the publishers offering rentals through Amazon are John Wiley & Sons, Elsevier and Taylor & Francis

"We've done a little something extra we think students will enjoy," said Dave Limp, vice president of Amazon's Kindle unit. "Normally, when you sell your print textbook at the end of the semester you lose all the margin notes and highlights you made as you were studying. We're extending our Whispersync technology so that you get to keep and access all of your notes and highlighted content in the Amazon Cloud, available anytime, anywhere -- even after a rental expires. If you choose to rent again or buy at a later time, your notes will be there just as you left them."

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: An Amazon Kindle e-reader on top of an Apple iPad, which can run a Kindle app for reading e-books. Credit: Kodomut via Flickr

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