Amazon enables Kindle e-book lending in the US

By on December 30, 2010, 3:00 PM
Avid Kindle users will be pleased to hear that Amazon has finally flipped the switch for e-book loans in the US. Eligible books can be loaned once for 14 days, and the borrower doesn't have to own Kindle hardware, they only need the free Kindle software that's available on various platforms, including iOS, BlackBerry, Android, PC and Mac.

Once a book is loaned, the lender won't be able to read it until the loan period expires. That seems like an inconvenient limitation to impose considering the fact that we're talking about digital books here, but we assume Amazon has its reasons. Only certain books are lendable and publishers/rights holders have the final word on what titles qualify.


Loaning books is straightforward enough. Eligible books will have "Lending: Enabled" in the product description and the option should be clearly visible. Once you provide the borrower's name and email address, they have seven days to accept the loan. Borrowers can return the loaned book before the 14-day period expires by deleting it.




User Comments: 3

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matrix86 matrix86 said:

The Barnes and Noble "Nook" has been doing this. I can go to the library or to the library's online site and download an ebook for 14 days, at which point the book simply disables itself for the next person. I believe my dad said there were 50,000 books available at his library.

I was wondering when Amazon would do this with it's Kindle.

Guest said:

"Once a book is loaned, the lender won't be able to read it until the loan period expires. That seems like an inconvenient limitation to impose considering the fact that we're talking about digital books here, but we assume Amazon has its reasons."

Well, it seems they are simply trying to approximate the lending of analog books.

When you lend someone a regular novel, you obviously cannot read it while they have it. When they are done, you have it back and you can read it.

Why so puzzled?

Guest said:

I don't know about you guys, but whenever I lend a friend a book they usually think they'll "get around to reading it this week" but never seem to do it until about 2 months later, right about the time I ask wtf happened to my copy of Neuromancer. It says "one time" so I'm guessing if I lend it to them for 2 weeks, and they don't read it, it's tough luck for them next time? Or do they just need to make a new amazon.com login, and re-register their kindle to borrow it? Ideally I suppose they'd just have to buy it themselves in Amazon's eyes?

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