Book rental service
Libraries have been lending books to the public for thousands of years. First libraries date back to 2600 BC during Sumerian civilization. In the modern era lending books largely happens by Public Libraries. Generally worldwide public libraries are non-profit organizations offering book lending services free to their patrons and are generally funded through taxes and donations or by the state., Public libraries are accessible to general public and are run by civil servants, state employees, or volunteers. Some of the largest libraries in the world include Library of Congress in the United States of America and British Library with millions of titles in their catalogs. Besides the public libraries, private libraries also provide lending services, and are usually run by individuals, associations, or by corporate organizations and universities. Private libraries usually require a subscription or membership to the library (paid or unpaid) and provide services specific to the organization, area or university.
Historically before the industrial revolution, books were too expensive for commoners to buy, and there were businesses which made profit by renting out books for a fee. Kashi-hon in Japan was one of such businesses. In modern era in developing and developed nations, for-profit book rental services have started to lend physical books, audiobook CDs, e-books, and audiobook MP3s through stores and/or by an online (website) interface after popularization of the World Wide Web. Most book rental companies provide books with doorstep delivery using logistic services. Following the popular Netflix model for video rental, many book companies have applied features such as unlimited rentals, free shipping, and no late fees to their book distribution services.
Book rental models
Based on rental method
Based on the rental method the book rental companies can be categorized into two subgroups:
- Book rental companies having a subscription-based models where a monthly or periodic subscription fee is charged and members can rent a number of books based on the subscription.
- Book rental companies taking a fraction of book cost as rent. This is the most prevalent model in textbook and college book renting.
Based on type of book rented
Based on the type of books that the book rental service rents following classification can be done:
- Physical or Printed Books. The category can further be subdivided into
- Companies primarily renting novels, fiction and story books.
- E-book renters. Many companies renting physical books also rent e-books. Since e-book rental distribution rights are totally different from physical books most of the smaller companies are not able to rent e-books for standard publishers like McGraw-Hill, Pearson, Prentice Hall, Cengage etc due to high license fees that needs to be paid for rental rights.
Book rental services worldwide
World over many book are doing book rental services using offline retail and e-commerce.
- Book rental services in United States
- Book rental services in Canada
Leading book rental services in Canada include bookmob, textbookrental, and Bibliaff
- Book rental services in Australia
- Book rental companies in India
Leading book rental companies in India include Pustakkosh, justbookclc, kopykitab
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