Found this through your comment on ReadWrite. Definitely a good article and I’ve been following many of these trends myself– using Airbnb (I’m never going back to budget and mid-level hotels… ever), and I love my Kindle, especially when I live abroad and don’t want to be hauling a bunch of books around the world. That said, I still have many volumes at home– those that are out of print, I have a different country edition (I may want the UK edition or the French one– I also read French), or other reasons. Sometimes used books are still cheaper than Kindle editions, and I’ve taken in boxes of used books when I’ve moved and changed them for cash– something I can’t do with my ebook editions that I probably won’t read again.
There are many advantages to these rental services– but let’s be clear that while we may get rid of some physical clutter and may reap some financial benefits, you can also have digital clutter and financial clutter. After all, maybe you don’t need to buy an ebook. There’s a great place to get books for free, which you then don’t have to keep and store and move– it’s called a library. More than that, some rental markets (for apartments) are out of control. You are paying someone else’s mortgage– there is a time and a place for that flexibility, but I don’t want to do that forever.
I think it might be beneficial to be strategic about what “rental” services we use, and view them as a helping step up to our goals– whether that’s the ability to just pick up and go somewhere, travel around the world, or financial security– renting out our apartment when we go on holiday so we can have a bit of extra cash to put towards the down payment on our own place.