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Amazon Starts Free Kindle Lending Library

eBooks and Publishing

This came as a surprise: today Amazon announced they are starting a free lending library for Kindle owners who have an Amazon Prime membership. Amazon Prime has to be one of the most unlikely bargains out there. Who thought of putting streaming movies, free shipping, and temporary eBook access together in one package (for $79 a year)? Counterintuitive or not, it’s an attractive option if you order a lot of things on the Web.

Even if you do already own a Kindle and have Amazon Prime, don’t plan on suddenly being able to read whatever you want for free. Amazon is only offering a limited number of books under the program, with a maximum of one loan per month per Prime member. With that said, though, there’s an impressive array of books available–more than 5,000 of them, including some current bestsellers.

I continue to worry about the fate of libraries as eReading spreads and the eBook world becomes more flexible and friendly to readers. Post your comments, links to articles elsewhere on the Web, or links to your own blogging on the subject below.



  1. Kata Welch  •  Dec 9, 2011 @3:44 pm

    I sometimes worry about what will happen to libraries, but I think the answer is they will shift their paradigm. If people want e-books, libraries will find a way to supply them and meet their patrons’ needs, using such applications as “Overdrive” . I work in a very rural library in Vermont and right now e-books are a curiosity here. I have a few patrons with Kindles and Nooks who come in looking for support, but right now the focus is on books. The library even purchased a Kindle to circulate.
    If libraries are clearing houses for ideas and information, they will continue to exist, in whatever form necessary to support their patronage.

  2. Luc  •  Dec 13, 2011 @5:04 pm

    Thanks for commenting, Kata. I think you’re right, that libraries would have to transform to continue. This subject certainly deserves a post of its own; I’ll work on that for the near future, and hope you’ll jump into the discussion.

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