Students can customize their textbook rental period (anywhere from 30 to 360 days) and from the looks of it, a semester-long rental is significantly cheaper than buying the book (I got a ~$50 rental on a $110 book). Amazon says it’ll have “tens of thousands of textbooks” available for renting, all of which will use Kindle features like Whispersync, highlights, notes and the ability to use it on any Kindle app (iPhone, Android, etc.).
I can’t wait until law school textbooks are available to rent. The entire idea of spending $150 on an expensive, hardbound, heavy textbook that will be out of date in a year is atrocious. When I moved from Virginia to Pennsylvania upon graduation from law school, I schlepped all my textbooks, and even my BarBri books, thinking I would look at them. Never happened. Now I have a bookshelf full of law books, circa 2006-2009, that are mostly useless. I’m going to try to give them away, or throw them out. I don’t care for keeping books (and transporting them hundreds of miles away) for mere decoration.
Regardless of what West and Lexis and other lawbook publishers do, I fully intend on creating my own course packets for Kindle that students can purchase for a cheap price.