Kindle soon to allow book lending

Everyone compares the Kindle and Nook to one another. One feature that is often touted by Nook owners is their ability to "lend" books to others. Kindle users have waited and waited for this, and finally, according to the Amazon Kindle team, this feature is coming.

Amazon will introduce lending for Kindle later this year which will allow you to loan Kindle books that you have purchased to another Kindle or Kindle app user. Each book can only be lent out once at a time, and only for a 14 day period. During this period the lender cannot read this book, just like what happens with real books. 

Amazon does happen to note however that not all of the books in the Kindle Store will be lendable. This will be an option that is up to the publisher or person holding the rights, much like the Text-To-Speech enabling. Hopefully publishers will take more kindly to the lending feature, as not all are incredibly thrilled by the thought of their books being read out loud.

The Kindle Team also noted in their post that they are making Kindle newspapers and magazines readable to all users of Kindle apps. Previously these were exclusive to Kindle owners, but now as long as you have a Kindle app and a subscription you are free to read it. The functionality should be coming in a few weeks first for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch Kindle apps, then to Android and other devices.

Including lending will undoubtedly remove some of the DRM uncertainty of the Kindle, and should bring more users into the Kindle scene.

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9 Comments

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Last time i checked it was illegal to lend a book to a friend whiile its good for consumers its illegal to lend somthing you dont own you dont own a paper back book you own the right to read it.

Sylar2010 said,
Last time i checked it was illegal to lend a book to a friend whiile its good for consumers its illegal to lend somthing you dont own you dont own a paper back book you own the right to read it.

Correction. Unlike digital media, you DO own a paperback book, and it has never been illegal to loan them out. That being said, you don't own the copyright to the book, so you can't copy it. However, this example applies to....nearly everything non-digital.

Of course, there are exceptions for film and music regardless of format, but I degress.

only for a 14 day period. During this period the lender CANNOT read this book

This is quite silly actualy. Why not allow it accessible to both parties? Real book examples do not apply here.

qdave said,
only for a 14 day period. During this period the lender CANNOT read this book

This is quite silly actualy. Why not allow it accessible to both parties? Real book examples do not apply here.

It gets icky when it comes to the publishers. They don't move in leaps and bounds but tinny-tiny steps. At least it is now POSSIBLE to lend an e-book. The lack of this feature in the DRM scheme has been a common criticism so this is at least a step in the right direction.

What you are sharing is the license. This is done with software all the time. More expensive engineering software (for instance) will have a single license for a bunch of computers but only one is allowed to run the program at a time. Typically this is regulated by a license server.

qdave said,
only for a 14 day period. During this period the lender CANNOT read this book

This is quite silly actualy. Why not allow it accessible to both parties? Real book examples do not apply here.

I LOL'd at that. Publishers need to realize that as technology moves forward, the ancient system of control they want to impose will only cut them off from their customers.

qdave said,
only for a 14 day period. During this period the lender CANNOT read this book

This is quite silly actualy. Why not allow it accessible to both parties? Real book examples do not apply here.

Publishers and authors make money from number of books sold. Making it accessible to both parties is bad for business.

I think Amazon should be charging $$ for each lending transaction, but as others are allowing it for free, they can't do much about it. Good for customers! Bad for publishers.

Jebadiah said,
Ok. I don't know if others are allowing it for free. Correct me if I am wrong.

Barnes & Noble NOOK always free loans. Once per each book (that allows lending), for 14 days, during which time the owner of the book is not allowed to read it. This is the same method Kindle seems to be adopting now.