The major news hit the industry in December: Amazon has decided to end its print textbook rentals for good. As an industry participant, we at BookScouter decided to share our thoughts on the subject.

As of Dec 14, 2022, Amazon, which offered a flexible and affordable way to get access to physical and digital textbooks for more than a decade, has recently announced the discontinuation of its print textbook rental program and coming changes to its print and digital magazine and newspaper subscriptions.

As of April 01, 2023, print textbook rentals are no longer available. All eligible rentals must be purchased or returned no later than September 3, 2023.


Amazon Textbook Rentals

With over 10,000 textbooks for rent, Amazon used to be the major platform for student textbook rentals for years. The Amazon textbook rental program provided

  • Lower prices
  • Free shipping 
  • Good return policy

Students could rent textbooks for one semester and certain books on a monthly basis for 30, 60, or 90 days. For many students, it was a great alternative to expensive textbook purchases.

Why Was Amazon Textbook Rental Program Discontinued?

Over the years, Amazon rented millions of books and got huge revenues. However, after the company’s annual performance review, the print textbook rental program was decided to be discontinued over the course of the spring semester. 

According to an Amazon spokesperson, “Following an assessment of our print textbook rentals and our magazine and newspaper subscriptions and single-issue sales, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue these services.” In other words, it’s one of the steps Amazon has taken over the years to optimize processes, eliminate loss-making business sectors, and boost overall profit. 

Important note: The change won’t affect either Amazon’s digital textbook rental program or new and used book-selling programs. The 1.5+ million books that Amazon has for sale or rent will be further available to all customers. 

Now that Amazon print textbook rentals are no longer available, what is?

Where to Rent Textbooks Now? Textbook Rental Alternatives


Why do we choose to mention BookScouter first? This online price comparison platform provides book price information from 20+ booksellers with rental offers—both for printed and digital textbooks. It’s easy to navigate, and you can immediately see the best offer first and other offers in descending order. The best offer will be displayed at the moment of search, so we don’t claim that it’s not going to change or there may be a better offer tomorrow. For instance, Design of Highway Bridges: An LRFD Approach can be rented at $41.80 for a semester on BooksRun, which is way cheaper than other booksellers’ offers—at the moment. And if you take a look at the best price for Campbell Biology, you’ll be surprised to learn that the cost of the semester rent on some marketplaces is twice as much. So, with the help of BookScouter, you can track textbook prices and save on your education. It’s easy to look for the book you need on BookScouter: enter its ISBN, author, or title in the search field and click Scout. Besides, the price information is constantly updated, so you immediately get the most recent rental price from the marketplace.

You can also choose the rental period:

And see available offers for a digital textbook if you prefer an eTextbook specifically:

To cap it all, on BookScouter, you can see all the current rental offers for your textbook, find the best offer right away, and then proceed to the bookseller rent page directly. You don’t have to visit every bookseller individually and compare their prices manually. Using BookScouter saves you time and effort. 


For instance, as we’ve already mentioned, BooksRun has the best rental offer for Design of Highway Bridges: An LRFD Approach at the moment this article is being written. This book may no longer be available tomorrow, or some other bookseller will give a better offer; yet, BooksRun has more than 100,000 textbook titles in stock, and the rental offers are updated daily. You can choose to rent a textbook for 155, 90, 60, and 35 days. The shipping is free. You can extend your rental for 15 days for $15. You can also purchase the textbook if you decide to keep it. BooksRun has a very smooth and straightforward rental process and a transparent return rental policy. They also sell and buy used books and textbooks. It has a high rating on BookScouter and good feedback on other resources; all in all, it’s considered a 100% reliable service.


According to BookScouter, eCampus also provides plenty of relatively good offers. For example, you can choose to rent a textbook Design and Construction of Modern Steel Railway Bridges for a semester, quarter, and short term. eCampus offers free shipping on orders over $35. It also has an extensive eTextbook library (offered through the VitalSource platform and the VitalSource Bookshelf app). You’ll get your textbook in 3–4 business days. eCampus also offers extensions on their rentals: you need to extend your rental at any time for 15, 30, 60, 90, and 130 days for an additional fee. According to various reviews we’ve studied, the service may have its flaws typical for the industry (mostly regarding buyback payments, not rentals). However, most eCampus reviews indicate that the ordering process was straightforward and smooth, and it’s overly recommended to students out there looking for a college book rental website. 


Let’s check the next bookseller with good rental offers: Knetbooks. This bookseller offers short-term, quarter, and semester rentals and free shipping both ways. Knetbooks focuses on textbooks exclusively, so they have textbooks on all sorts of subjects, from the most popular ones like calculus to more major-related ones like materials for the civil and structural PE exams. So if you’re looking for a copy of Simplified LRFD Bridge Design, for instance, you are in luck: you can rent it from Knetbooks and get the cheapest offer at the moment, according to BookScouter. Rentals are available for a semester, a quarter, and for a short term. You can also extend your rental at any time. You can also buy used textbooks and sell them back to Knetbooks. They claim that they have saved 370,690 students $41,155,311; we do recommend checking their offers via BookScouter. We also recommend reading their rental and return rental policy carefully before you make an order. As we looked through the Knetbooks reviews, we’ve got a pretty good impression; however, we’ve also noticed that some users completely overlooked the rental policy and had to face minor problems with shipping, cancellations, and refunds.


You must have heard about Chegg; you may even be using their textbook solutions, tools, or homework help. Then you also know that you can rent textbooks there, too. Chegg offers textbook rentals on all sorts of subjects, has a convenient 21-day refund on returns policy, has a straightforward ordering process, offers free shipping on rental returns, and is actively used by students. We can’t say that Chegg is the cheapest online rental platform; however, sometimes, it’s the only place that offers this or that textbook, or it may have the best offer for a specific book. For instance, according to BookScouter, LRFD Bridge Design can only be rented from Chegg at the moment. Yet, here is a different example: Structural Steel Design from Chegg is the second cheapest rental offer next to BooksRun. At the same time, both Chegg’s rental and purchase offers are yet way more expensive than the ones of BooksRun. Therefore, we recommend using BookScouter first and then renting textbooks with Chegg if it makes sense at all. 


Our last recommendation is ValoreBooks, a bookseller and a bookselling marketplace with good rental offers. “With low prices, a huge selection and a money-back guarantee, ValoreBooks makes it easy to rent the books you need at an affordable cost.” With ValoreBooks, for instance, you can rent Design of Highway Bridges: An LRFD Approach and Structural Engineering Formulas relatively cheaply compared to other offers. The standard shipping will cost you $3.95, and return shipping is free. However, with prices constantly changing and textbook offers appearing and disappearing, we still recommend checking BookScouter first. All in all, most ValoreBooks reviews we studied describe a positive user experience: shipping is clear and fast, and overall service is an effective way to get good used textbooks without having to pay an arm and a leg. Yet, we recommend checking the company’s rental policy to avoid misunderstandings.

Final Thoughts

Since Amazon textbook rentals are no longer available, it’s time to adapt and get the best of the channels that have already been there for a long time but—due to Amazon’s monopoly—were frequently underestimated and overlooked. Yet, Amazon doesn’t and hasn’t always had the best offers. We hope that with the BookScouter’s help and the alternatives we’ve outlined for you, you’ll be able to find the cheapest rental offers.