Originally Posted by ficbot
But if I only had to pay $3-4 and the book expired after 30 days, I would be fine with that.
In theory, I can agree with that.
I have no problem paying for HD movie rentals and I'm looking forward to the availability of ZUNE Pass on XBOX next month. Cable TV and Movie tickets are just as ephemeral as a rental and I have no problem with either.
Books, however, I'd have to think about rentals.
I'm something of a packrat when it comes to books and my buying habits are that I'll buy the books when they catch my eye but I don't necessarily read them soon after. Rarely, in fact.
My TBR list is probably a couple decades long.
(I haven't checked out library books this century, for example.)
Book rentals would also depend on the material; at $3-5 I'd be more likely to rent current affairs and other non-fiction than SF which I can usually buy for $3.50-6.00 anyway.
Different folks have different thresholds in the buy-lease debate but while rentals are a valid business model, the publishers aren't going to adopt it until they've been bloodied to a pulp by piracy, just as the studios fought tooth and nail against subscription music until they realized they'd ceded control of the digital music business to Apple and even today they are still fighting internet radio.
The best I can say in the defense of the BPHs is that it is always hard to accept that your business model is obsolete and your product deprecated. But hard to swallow or not, the day is coming and a lot sooner than even their worst nightmares.