Amazon Announces Textbook Rental Program

Anyone who has attended college understands the frustration associated with purchasing text books, in some cases a single semester can cost upwards of $500 or more for books that will be used for a 16 to 20 week period. Now a large portion of that cost can be diverted thanks to Amazon’s new textbook rental program.

Announced on Amazon’s own website the program offers students up to 70 percent off the normal cost of a purchased textbook.

Under the program, students search for the textbook they need, receive it with free two day shipping (under certain conditions), keep it until the end of the semester, and then mail it back to Amazon with no associated shipping costs.

Students find text books with their ISBNs, and the free shipping option is available to anyone enrolled in Amazon Student. Not enrolled in Amazon Student? You’ll have to pay standard shipping rates based on the number of textbooks you order for rental.


The rental period lasts for 130 days and an automatic 15-day extension period is given with additional costs if a book in not returned within that time period. Amazon warns that the full cost of the book will be charged to the student if they don’t return the textbook. If a book is charged in full, Amazon will first remove already paid rental and extension fees.

For students who like to write or highlight in their rented textbooks Amazon says those practices are allowed as long as they are kept to a minimum, thus ensuring a longer lifespan for each rental friendly textbook.

Amazon already offers some textbooks in digital format but this new program allows students to grab their books in physical form.