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A borrower be? Kindle gets lending

13/11/2011. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Amazon has now launched its Kindle Owners' Lending Library. With an Amazon Prime membership, Kindle owners can choose from a selection of books to borrow for free - including 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers - as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates. With an annual Prime membership, the Kindle Owners' Lending Library is included at no additional cost.

The Kindle Owners' Lending Library includes titles such as Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, The Big Short and Liars' Poker by Michael Lewis, TheHunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, and Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - plus books such as The Finkler Question and Guns, Germs, and Steel, memoirs such as Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, and motivational books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Kindle notes, highlights and bookmarks in borrowed books will be saved, so readers will have them later if they purchase or re-borrow the book. Books are borrowed from a Kindle device, and customers can have one book out at a time. When customers want to borrow a new book, existing borrowed books can be returned from their device.

Titles in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library are sourced from a range of publishers under a variety of terms. For the vast majority of titles, Amazon says it has reached agreement with publishers to include titles for a fixed fee. In some cases, Amazon is purchasing a title each time it is borrowed by a reader under standard wholesale terms as a no-risk trial to demonstrate to publishers the incremental growth and revenue opportunity that this new service might present.

Jeff Bezos, Amazonís founder, told SFcrowsnest, "Owning a Kindle just got even better. Today, we're introducing a new Prime benefit built for Kindle: The Kindle Owners' Lending Library. Prime Members now have exclusive access to a huge library of books to read on any Kindle device at no additional cost and with no due dates."

John Boris at Lonely Planet added, "We're excited to offer titles from our ebook 'Chapters' series, which covers some of the world's most popular destinations, to members of Kindle Owners' Lending Library. Our ebooks have done incredibly well on Kindle and this is a great way to showcase our travel expertise to an even broader audience."

Thereís been quite a lot of controversy over the move among publishers and agents, many who feel that their books are being included in the programme without explicit permission. The counter argument from Amazon is read the terms and conditions, baby.

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