December 30, 2010
Amazon has quietly implemented its long promised e-book lending program. While the service is free, users might find it difficult to use. The premise is simple: Select books are now available to lend to other people. Unfortunately, the only way to do this is through the Amazon website. You cannot lend books directly from a Kindle device or through the free universal Kindle app. This is likely to upset a large number of Kindle users, who probably figured this service would be available without the need of a computer. Books can be loaned to others for a 14 day period. Book publishers or rights holders decide which are lendable. At this time, most are not. I’ve bought 20 books over the years, and of those, only three are currently lendable. You lend books by visiting your “Manage My Kindle” section on the Amazon website. Towards the bottom of this page, you will see a list of all your book purchases. By clicking on the “+” sign, you will see which are lendable. Those will show the button: “Loan This Book.” app allows this type of lending. Hopefully, Amazon will follow suit soon. Amazon's new lending service works as expected. However, until it is offered on devices or apps, its success could be limited.
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