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!