E-books may not kill off the lending library after all; at least for Amazon Kindle owners.
Amazon’s recently announced Kindle Owners’ Lending Library will allow Kindle users to check out one e-book a month from the library to be returned without buying. Which all sound fine until you get to the small print.
The service is only available for Amazon Prime subscribers, who pay $79/year and it will only work on Kindle devices – a Kindle app on a smartphone doesn’t count. The service is limited to one book per month and is controlled by Amazon’s Digital Rights Management, so when you ‘return’ your library book it is deleted from your device.
The lending library itself is listing around 5,000 books, which is not a large number by internet standards, but probably as good as your bricks-and-mortar public library in town. On the plus side, a hundred of those will be current and former New York Times best sellers so you can keep up with the chattering classes.
Amazon clearly expects to sell some more Kindle e-readers with this extra benefit, but I’m not so sure. It sounds like a fringe benefit to existing Prime subscribers to me.
Within the Kindle store, under ‘See all…’ go to Browse and from there navigate to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
One slight problem; Prime only works with US addresses so you will have to be a US subscriber to use the library. We await the launch of the service in the rest of the world. AJS
Image: Steaci Library by Raysonho@Open Grid Scheduler, Wikimedia Commons