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Amazon Gets Into the Textbook Rental Business -- Finally

It's a painful and pricey college tradition: Buying expensive new textbooks at the beginning of the term, only to turn around and sell them at cheap at semester's end. But Amazon.com hopes to change all that with its move into the textbook rental business.

The Clever Newbies Bucking Retail's Downturn

Amid all the chain-store carnage, some smaller merchants are trying to attract shoppers with new concepts, from textbook rentals to made-to-order pants. Some are online only, and others have bricks. But all are finding success and growth in a bruising environment.