Amazon Launches E-Book Kindle Lending Library

BlogHer Original Post

The e-book wars continue to flare as Amazon.com announced the launch of their Kindle Owner's Lending Library. Available only to Kindle and Kindle Fire owners (sorry app users, you're out of luck), Amazon Prime members can now borrow one book a month from Amazon's initial offerings of 5000 loanable books.

This is the second time this year year that Amazon has pushed into the e-book loaning arena. In partnership with Overdrive Media, they launched Kindle compatible library e-books in September, a huge benefit for Kindle owners who had previously been unable to accept library e-books.

But don't get too excited Kindle users. Not yet.

amazon kindle lending library e-books

Books available in Amazon's Lending Library (Amazon.com)

For starters, none of the six largest publishers in America have signed on to the lending library plan. So that hot bestseller that everyone is raving about or that book that's getting talking up on public radio? It may not be coming to to Kindle near you... at least not for free. With 5000 books in their initial roll out I have no doubt you can find something to read, it just may not be that book that you really, really want to read.

Then there's the lending limit. I think it's pretty neat that there are no due dates on the books you borrow, but the one book per month limit isn't something that I'd cheer over. Granted, I probably read more than the average reader. I've averaged about 10 books per month this year. Of those ten books per month, two are usually e-books and half of them come from my library. For now, at least, I suspect my library probably has a better selection of e-books than Amazon's Kindle Lending Library does.

By limiting the Kindle Lending Library to Kindle owners only, and not Kindle app users, Amazon is clearly pushing for Kindle sales. I can't really argue with that, they are in the business of selling things. I don't own a Kindle. I think the Kindle Lending Library is a nice perk for current Kindle owners, but the absence of six major publishers and the limit of one book for month won't have me rushing to buy one.

What do you think about Amazon's new Kindle Lending Library? Would you buy a Kindle so that you could use it?

BlogHer Book Club Host Karen Ballum also blogs at Sassymonkey and Sassymonkey Reads.

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