Amazon Kindle Text Book Rentals Really Work

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle
Amazon Kindle
My youngest son, Jared, is a rising Junior at Cornell. He’s an Econ major in the College of Arts and Sciences. Before I could post the update about Amazon Text Book rentals, he sent me a txt message telling me it was amazing.

If you go to the Cornell book store and purchase your books (new & used), it is easy to spend $450-$500 per semester. If you have more time than money, you can find most of the books online and get that number down to $250-$300 per semester.

Enter Amazon’s Text Book Rental program.

Jared’s book list for last semester included: “Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach (with Economic Applications, Data Sets, Student Solutions Manual Printed Access Card)” This is the current edition of the book and it has a list price of $215.95. Amazon discounts it to $153.89. A 29 percent savings. However, you can now rent the book for Kindle starting at $50.10.

It’s really easy to do. Click “Rent book” and you’re taken to a special rental page. There’s a calendar dropdown box where in the Checkout area and you simply click the dates you need. The price for the rental shows up dynamically. If he needed this book, this semester, it would cost us $68.40 to rent, a 66 percent savings from the street price of a new hardcover book. This is simply awesome.

Is there a downside? None that I can think of — you don’t have to carry an 896 page hardcover book in your backpack. The book can be read by any device that can run the Kindle app (iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone, Android devices, Macs and PCs, etc.) and of course on a Kindle.

Only about half of the textbooks my son need for this semester are available in this program. Hopefully, this program will be successful enough to inspire other publishers to work with Amazon. I think it’s awesome!

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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