Online Book Renting: Questions Without Answers

November 15th, 2005 · No Comments
by Booksquare

Normally, we eschew such behavior as jumping to conclusions*, but, really, what can one do when the news fails so miserably? Google has (apparently) approached a publisher (unnamed) about the possibility of renting books (in an unspecified format) for 10% of the list price.

Tell us, does that final bit seem a bit too specific for you? It’s sitting in the article like it’s an actual fact. Very suspicious.

Our mind reels with possibilities: a NetFlix sort of arrangement where books arrive by mail and are return in prepaid envelopes. Inter-library loan programs on steroids (or, rather, more libraries, better communication, and increase ease-of-use). Downloads that expire at the stroke of midnight. Textbooks that live during the school year only. As you know, we put a man on the moon; imagine what can be done with book distribution.

* – Until we’ve had coffee; after that, we have sufficient energy to jump away.

File Under: The Future of Publishing