07/18/2011 03:57 pm ET | Updated Sep 17, 2011

Amazon Kindle Textbook Rental Offers Deep Discounts To Students

Just in time for the back-to-school crunch, Amazon is now offering deep discounts on digital textbooks rentals.

The e-commerce giant announced the launch of Kindle Textbook Rental on Monday, July 18th. The new service is structured to allot customized rental periods, between 30 and 360 days. This way, students pay only for the specific time they need a certain text.

Customers can either rent digital books directly from the Kindle store or via Kindle apps, which can then be read on alternative platforms such as iOS and Android devices.

Kindle Vice President Dave Limp said in a press release that students can take advantage of "savings up to 80% off the print list price on a 30-day rental". For example, we found this hefty business law textbook that normally sells for $262.95, but can be rented for just $45.19. Such savings are highly sought after by students, who traditionally have to shell-out hundreds of dollars each semester for textbooks, only to resell them for a fraction of what they paid.

Amazon also says that its Whispersync technology will be integrated into Kindle Textbook Rental, so that users notes and highlighted material will be saved to the cloud, even after a rental period expires.

Amazon's latest offer could pose a serious challenge to competing textbook rental companies.