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Old 09-07-2012, 03:55 PM   #1
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Book rentals

A few days ago, in anticipation of the new Kindles, I was browsing leisurely at Amazon, when I came upon a book I really wanted. Lo and behold, the price was more than $33. I still wanted it, but I admit thattttt not having paid more than $9.99 for a long while, I was taken aback by that price (the book is on esoteric topic on Korean embassies to Japan during the Tokugawa shogunate, probably not a whole lot of readers out there) when I discovered that Amazon offered to rent me the book for a month. Rental fee was much more reasonable, and I will have no problem finishing it in the allocated one month.

Do you think this is the future for books out of the mainstream? This will clearly never catch on for entertainment and reference material, but what about these specialized fields with books starting at $75 (the print version was in that range). Could this even catch on for entertainment, renting a Stephen King for ten days at $1.29?

Yes, I loaded it on to Calibre, but the Apprentice was no help, they have clearly improved you know what.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:15 PM   #2
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I've long been an advocate of book rentals. I see no reason why a library subscription service couldn't work.

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Old 09-07-2012, 04:15 PM   #3
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I'm not sure I like it. For one, it'll encourage price gouging on obscure topics that someone might be having to research for whatever reason.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kumabjorn View Post
Yes, I loaded it on to Calibre, but the Apprentice was no help, they have clearly improved you know what.
I doubt they've improved much of anything. From my own visits to Alf's hangout ... I've gleaned that he simply has no interest in helping anyone keep ebooks they've only rented.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:23 PM   #5
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I doubt they've improved much of anything. From my own visits to Alf's hangout ... I've gleaned that he simply has no interest in helping anyone keep ebooks they've only rented.
I did it purely out of curiosity, I completely agree, a rental is a rental. Just wanted to know if they used the same setup.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:25 PM   #6
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Since I like to read books more than once including my esoteric history books I am uninterested in renting.
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:27 PM   #7
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As someone who doesn't reread fiction books, I love the idea of a rental. It wouldn't be for every book, because some I would still want to own even I'm not going to reread, but I still find it interesting.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:35 PM   #8
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One of my local bookshops will do this, they'll get in a hardcover, and rent a copy to those who don't want to buy, but would like to be able to read before the paperback comes out or before the library gets it.

I took advantage once, cost me $4 for the rental and well worth it.

Usually though, I am patient enough to wait until the library gets it.

Anyway, I definitely think that a book rental market might be out there.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Since I like to read books more than once including my esoteric history books I am uninterested in renting.
Apache
You can always rent more than once.

I don't see any difference to DVD rentals or even music subscription services.

You'd buy your favourite or most-frequently-needed content outright, but most content you only consume once.

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Old 09-07-2012, 07:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I doubt they've improved much of anything. From my own visits to Alf's hangout ... I've gleaned that he simply has no interest in helping anyone keep ebooks they've only rented.
I know it would be naive to think no one would abuse it, but I know there are at least some who would use those tools just to be able to read on the eReader of their choice.

I know there are people on these boards who've posted that they use the tools on epubs from the library, so they can read them on their Kindles, but they fully intend to delete the books when they're done with them. They're complying with the spirit of the library rules, if not the letter.

I had someone ask me about a rented textbook once because she had trouble reading it on her computer screen and wanted to use her reader. I wasn't able to help her, because I couldn't find a hack. But she's a person I would have trusted to follow the spirit of the rental and delete it when she was finished with the class.
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Old 09-08-2012, 01:14 AM   #11
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The good Apprentice let's us manage our e-book purchases as we see fit, you buy it you get to do with it like a physical book. That is exactly the way it should be. You rent or lend, then you get to use it on the owner's premises, not yours.
I bought a few other books when I rented, so when I was finished I connected my Kindle to Calibre and loaded my new books, Calibre gave me an error message and that peaked my curiosity.
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Old 09-08-2012, 02:53 AM   #12
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I don't like to rent anything, so I wouldn't be a big fan. So far even the most esoteric book I've ever needed was available via an inter-library loan. I'd be worried that publishers would see this as a way to monetize books with a low audience and eliminate paper copies (that they sell once) in favor of a continuing revenue stream.

In related news, I suspect some tweaking has been going on. I've bought (bought, as in "paid for") several books recently and even after conversion was reported as successful two books were so full of errors that Calibre wouldn't open them. It's an inconvenience.
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Old 09-08-2012, 07:14 AM   #13
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It wouldn't interest me because I don't like being given a time limit to read a book. Sometimes I buy a book and may not get round to reading it for a year or more. I suppose it may work with books that I was particulalry looking forward to reading/waiting for it to come out.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:13 AM   #14
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I'm not sure I like it. For one, it'll encourage price gouging on obscure topics that someone might be having to research for whatever reason.
But this is already the case: Selected Nuclear Materials and Engineering Systems. $7k for a 520-pages book?

BTW, do yourself a favor and read the Amazon reviews for the book. They always make me smile This one is even better.
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Old 09-08-2012, 08:36 AM   #15
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I'm interested in it, as long as the prices aren't crazy. There's a lot of books I just want to read once.
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