Amazon turns page on textbook rentals for students, discontinues program

Students are no longer able to rent textbooks through Amazon, one of the world’s largest online retailers, announced in a statement on April 1.

Any outstanding rentals must be returned by the end of their rental period and the company is instead focusing on physical textbook and e-book sales.

“You can still extend your existing print textbook rental(s) up to a September 13, 2023 return date,” the statement said. “After April 1, 2023, you can continue to explore the wide selection of print textbooks available for new and used purchase, as well as digital; textbooks for purchase and rental.”

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Screenshot of Amazon's statement on textbook rentals.
Screenshot of Amazon's statement on textbook rentals.

The change in policy comes a little under a month after Amazon discontinued its print magazine and newspaper subscriptions through their service.

The company now requires buyers to subscribe to a Kindle Unlimited account which is billed at $9.99 monthly to obtain electronic issues.

Amazon’s move to discontinue the textbook rental program is still too early to see the effects that it will have on students.

Due to how silent this change was, most El Camino College students did not know about the change, including 27-year-old Andres Rios.

“I wasn’t aware of it,” Rios said. “But now that I am aware I don’t think it was a good move. Lots of students use Amazon Prime so it makes it less appealing to get their service.”

Editor Ethan Cohen contributed to this report.