Amazon introduces e-book lending
Amazon yesterday made good on its earlier promise
to allow lending of e-books between Kindle users. The move by Amazon
brings it in line with its biggest competitor in the e-reader market,
Barnes & Noble, which introduced e-book lending for the Nook last
Kindle title-sharing is not just available to owners of Kindle e-readers. Books can also be lent by users of the Kindle e-reading applications for Macs, PCs, iPhones, iPads, BlackBerrys, and Android devices.
the lending arrangements come with a number of restrictions: books can
only be lent for 14 days; you can only lend out each title once; the
original owner can’t read the book while it’s on loan; and only those
titles that have been specifically approved for lending by their
publishers are deemed eligible. Titles that can be lent will be
explicitly marked as such on their product pages.
To share a book, you can either loan it from the Manage Your Kindle
page on Amazon’s site, or from the product page of a book you have
already purchased. In both cases, you specify an e-mail address for the
person you want to lend the title to. That person then has seven days to
accept the loan, after which the item reverts back to your possession.
(An unaccepted loan doesn’t count against the limit of one loan per
You can view the status of your loans via the Manage Your Kindle page, and the borrower will be notified three days before the end of the loan period via a courtesy e-mail.
yesterday’s announcement fulfils an earlier promise, the arrangements
still fall short of what many e-book buyers would like to see. They
argue that the one-time lending limit is unnecessarily restrictive and
is a clear disadvantage when comparing e-books to their paper
counterparts. However, the publishers can counter that e-books are
significantly cheaper and therefore some restrictions are merited. It
all amounts to a feeling-out process, as both sides get used to the new
and unfamiliar digital landscape.