The Kindle Gets Loaning… Kind Of

Personal Library KitOne of my least favorite things about the Kindle has been the book isolation. I love to lend books to friends, family, and even people I only sort of like. That picture to the left is no arbitrary image I chose. Back in my elementary school days, I attempted to turn my bookshelves into a library with each book featuring a card to sign it out in a pocket on the back cover. (And yes, I was that cool.)

But lately, my lending has been lacking. Most of the books I get these days are of the “e” variety, and my physical bookshelf is a pretty sad compilation of books I mostly picked up for free through work or other channels. That doesn’t leave a lot to lend.

Until now! The Kindle has finally stood up to the Nook and said yes to sharing, yes to borrowing, yes to “why don’t you try…” Here’s how the new loaning function works, explained by Amazon itself: “Eligible Kindle books can be loaned once for a period of 14 days. The borrower does not need to own a Kindle — Kindle books can also be read using our free Kindle reading applications for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android devices. Not all books are lendable — it is up to the publisher or rights holder to determine which titles are eligible for lending. The lender will not be able to read the book during the loan period.”

Exciting, right? Now I don’t have to tell my friends about this great book I just read and then gently suggest they head on over to the bookstore if they like what they just heard. Except I kind of do still have to do that.

The key part of the Amazon explanation is that not all books are lendable. It’s up to the publisher in most cases. And in most cases, so far at least, that means not so lendable. In my Kindle library of about 30 titles only three are able to be loaned. So if you’re interested in reading Sleep Toward Heaven, Mennonite in a Little Black Dress or the Corrections then hit me up, I’m happy to share. Other than that, there’s not much I can do.

For now. As lending becomes more popular, hopefully more publishers will allow more books to be lent.

And that’s something to look forward to because you know what’s the best thing about e-book lending versus the real thing? Your books won’t come back all scrawled in, beat up or with the carefully crafted sign out card in the back cover missing. I mean…

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4 responses to “The Kindle Gets Loaning… Kind Of

  1. One of the best parts of the my Nook is that I can lend my books to anyone with a Nook. Unfortunately none of the people I know own one. The other really good feature for someone who is as computer challanged as I am, is that I can simply roon to Barnes and Noble and say please do it for me.

  2. You could check out the Kindle Lending Club page we founded on Facebook – lots of people lending and borrowing Kindle books there. Discover great new books for free, and share your collection with other book lovers:

    http://www.facebook.com/KindleLendingClub

  3. I will take you up on your offer to borrow Mennonite in a Little Black Dress! I almost bought it on my winter break Barnes and Noble shopping spree! Plus can’t go wrong with a Beerman book recommendation.

  4. Diane Silverstein

    Gee, that picture looks quite familiar! I remember that phase in Marnie. I went so far as to lend my Reader to a good friend, so she could read the Dragon Tattoo series. It dropped and broke. She felt so awful. Sony did replace it with a refurbished one, that I still haven’t taken the time to learn its new ways. Parkland Library is my choice for books these days.

    I hope you had a wonderful holiday season at Andrew’s.

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