Amazon to Allow Book Lending - The UpStream

Amazon to Allow Book Lending

posted Saturday Oct 23, 2010 by Scott Ertz

Amazon to Allow Book Lending

Have you ever owned a book that you liked so much that you wanted everyone you know to read it and you lent that book to everyone so they could? In the new digital world, that concept has become difficult or impossible. If you read books on the Kindle app on your Samsung Epic, you probably aren't lending your phone out so your friend can read your eBook.

Luckily, Amazon made an announcement this week to change all of that. Coming soon, you will be able to lend your eBooks to other Kindle owners. Here'sthe announcements:

Later this year, we will be introducing lending for Kindle, a new feature that lets you loan your Kindle books to other Kindle device or Kindle app users. Each book can be lent once for a loan period of 14-days and the lender cannot read the book during the loan period. Additionally, not all e-books will be lendable - this is solely up to the publisher or rights holder, who determines which titles are enabled for lending.

Hit the break for the details on Kindle lending.

So, it sounds like the service will work in the same general way that Microsoft Zune song sharing works. You can send it to a friend and they have a limited time to be able to read it, in this case 14 days. A lot of people are unable to finish a book in 14 days, so this might be a ploy to get them to buy it themselves after they get started.

Unlike the Zune sharing system, however, each eBook can only be lent once and the owner cannot read it while it is lent out. This is certainly in line with lending out a real book but a little odd for a digital medium.

The part of the announcement that makes me think this probably won't work is the fact that Amazon is leaving it up to the publishers to allow or not the new feature. This seems like something that most publishers are going to see as a threat and prohibit because publishers don't understand the new world (just look at newspapers).

Is this a feature you think you would use or is this just Amazon trying to keep the Kindle platform in the news as Apple, HP, Pandigital, Samsung and other companies start launching tablets that can take advantage of this useful system? Let us know in the comments.

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