Kindle Library Lending to Reunite Bookworms
Bookworms may soon find reason to reacquaint themselves with their local libraries after Amazon announced a new program called Kindle Library Lending on Wednesday. The fledgling program would allow customers to borrow community-owned copies of e-books from any of 11,000 participating libraries in the ‘States, and read them from the comfort of their Kindle or device equipped with a Kindle app.
Heavy readers like Christian Orlov are already enthusiastic about the prospect. “I grew up practically living in the library, but it’s hard to justify lugging around hard-cover books since my wife got me the Kindle, says Orlov, a 27-year-old grad student at American University in Washington D.C. “Free is free though, and if I can go back to lending, I’ll have to try and find my library card.”
Amazon is working with Overdrive on the project, the biggest digital content provider for libraries in the country, which lends some weight to the endeavor. According to OverDrive’s Blog, Kindle customers will be able to take advantage of its existing infrastructure and library of content, so if your local library is already an OverDrive partner, you can take advantage.
Borrowed books will work the same as store-bought books, with the ability to sync across devices, highlight text and make side annotations, traditionally a no-no in library books. If a user opts to purchase a book or lend it for herself again, those notes and highlights will be there waiting.
A Proven Model
While Kindle Library Lending won’t be operational until “later this year,” that’s no reason to shy away from library e-book lending in the interim. Other ereaders like the Barnes & Noble Nook , Sony Reader and the Kobo eReader already support lending from the OverDrive network, thanks to their native support of the ePub file format. OverDrive always offers an app for mobile users of the Android, Blackberry, iOS, and Windows Mobile platforms.
The Kindle faithful don’t have to stand out in the cold either. As we covered back in February, sites like Books For My Kindle allow you to take advantage of the Kindle’s nascent lending capabilities to swap books with strangers. The options are limited as is the lending period, it’s true, but when you consider that most libraries only purchase a single copy of any given e-book, it’s still not a bad option.