Would you rent an eBook from Amazon?
If you bargain hunt, you can often find great price son eBooks — but many digital books sell for $9.99 or up and often cost nearly as much as print editions. If you plan to keep your eBooks around for a long time and read a book more than once, that price might seem reasonable. But if you’re the sort who likes to read a book once and never again, you might be looking for other options.
Amazon might just have one: Kindle book rentals.
Theories of International Politics and Zombies is now available to purchase for $8.61 or to rent for $3.22 and up. There are options to rent for 30, 60, 90, or 120 days. If you need to extend your rental, you can always add some time and only pay the difference in price between, for example, a 30 and 60 day rental.
Technically this isn’t Amazon’s first foray into Kindle rentals. You can also rent textbooks from the company, which can save students a lot of money, given the high prices of textbooks.
Update: Amazon might just think this title is a textbook… it’s happened before. but it’d be nice if you really could rent fiction titles. Maybe someone at Amazon (and at publishing houses) will take notice.
You can also “check out” many digital books from libraries around the US and read them on a Kindle or other eReader. But most of the digital library book systems use DRM to emulate the properties of real library books — so there may only be a few copies of each book available and you may have to wait in a long, long line before you can borrow popular books.
I had to wait a few months to get a copy of JK Rowling’s The Causal Vacancy for that reason, even though my library system has about two dozen digital licenses of that title.
I like the idea of paying a lower rate for books I only plan to read once. What about you?