Amazon Introduces New Kindle Lending Library Service

Amazon has confirmed the details of its Kindle “lending library” for Amazon Prime subscribers. It’s a neat feature, though not enough to be the sole reason to subscribe.

The library of books available to “borrow” is around 5,000 titles of which more than 100 are either currently on the New York Times Bestsellers list or have been in the past.

There’ll be a separate “library” to browse, but eligible titles will also be marked as having a borrowing option when they appear in standard search results.

The deal works a little like the basic package of most DVD and game rental services. You can borrow one book at a time and keep it as long as you like. Once you “return” it you get a new one, but you can only get one new title a month.

The feature is available on all Kindle devices, including the new Fire tablet. However, the borrowed books can’t be read on non-Amazon devices through the Kindle app in the same way as purchased titles.

A year’s subscription to Prime is $79, so if you used it just for the books you’d be talking about $6.50 per title. Given bestselling titles average about ten bucks, that’s a lot for borrowing a book, though a bit more tolerable if you rarely read books more than once anyway.

Throw in the unlimited TV and movie streaming, however, and you’ve got an attractive deal for those who’ve opted for the Fire tablet, giving more weight to the theory that Amazon isn’t planning to make its money on the hardware but rather the content.

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6 Responses to Amazon Introduces New Kindle Lending Library Service

  1. I'm sorry but all E-readers are evil to me. They are the death of the written word and everything true and beautiful. Text isn't real unless it's publish as book. This just bad news. But hell I'm just a Walter Kovacs carrying my Doom Is Nigh Sign.

    • Wh–what? I've heard of people preferring paper books, but you're the first person I've heard call ebooks evil. The publishers don't like them, and you can tell by how they price their ebooks (I'm looking at you Penguin Publishing). But ebooks are actually a great way for new authors to get their stories out. And if publishers would price their books cheaper, it'd give author's of older books an opportunity to gain more readers.

      People are reading more because of ereaders. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703

    • Really… you think that text is not real unless its published in a book? That is the most ridiculous thing i have read in a while. Wow. Text is text, its the context of the text that makes it worth while or not. Not whether the text is ink on paper or in e-reader format.

  2. I think if you already have a Prime Membership for other things (like their DVD library and expedited shipping) this would be a really nice bonus. For just lending books alone though? Eh. :-/

  3. I've never been happier to already be a Prime member!!! :D :D :D But I agree… If I wasn't already signed up, this would not be reason to do it.