Feeds

Amazon tackles soaring textbook prices

Kindle ebook rentals boost beer bucks

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Amazon is sending its Kindle ebook reader off to college, enrolling it in a program to help save students from the crushing burden of skyrocketing textbook prices.

"We're excited to offer students an option to rent Kindle textbooks and only pay for the time they need – with savings up to 80 per cent off the print list price on a 30-day rental," says Amazon's Kindle kingpin Dave Limp in a canned statement.

The new program – called, appropriately enough, Kindle Textbook Rental – will enable students to rent books for periods from 30 and 360 days. There's also an option to buy the book at any time during the rental, or to extend the rental period in increments as brief as a single day.

Amazon's program will also hold onto any notes and highlights that a student has made in his or her rental and has synched into the Amazon Cloud over the company's Whispersync service. Should the student eventually decide to buy that book – even well after the rental period has ended – Limp says that "your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced."

Of course, Amazon hasn't inaugurated this service – US-only at this point – merely out of the goodness of its heart. Not only is the online megaretailer presumably hoping to goose sales of the Kindle ebook reader itself, but there are also all those copies of Sizzling Sixteen and Smokin' Seventeen that students might buy for less-academic moments.

Still, with tuition costs going through the roof, anything that might help alleviate the equally soaring costs of textbooks is to be applauded. According to The Student PIRGs, students currently spend an average of $900 per year on textbooks, and textbook prices have increased four times as fast as inflation since 1994.

The Kindle Textbook Rental program should help put a dent in that $900 per year – perhaps even enough to pay for some other necessities of campus life, such as a couple of cases of Newcastle. ®

Bootnote

On the same day that Amazon announced its Kindle Textbook Rental program, the beleaguered, bankrupt, buyer-less Borders bookstore chain announced that it was liquidating, and closing its 399 brick-and-mortar stores. As your Reg reporter sang with his beaded, bearded buddies back when he was in college, "The Times, They Are A-Changin'".

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.