Order the New Kindle 3G + Wifi or Kindle Wi-Fi

Our occasional look at some Kindle Reader FAQs continues with the subject of Kindle book lending.  Whilst we have always been able to share Kindle books with family members all registering their devices on one account, we couldn’t lend an ebook to a friend unless we also gave them our device to read it on.  That isn’t something many of us want to do which is pretty understandable when you consider how rarely books come back to their rightful owners!

Now there is the facility to lend books but it is a little limited.

The concept relies on publishers agreeing that their work can be lent out.  So not everything you buy will be able to borrowed by friends.  There are also some pretty tough restrictions on those titles that may be lent.  Read on for more information:

Finding Kindle Books That Are Lendable

  • First of all, for new books you are looking to buy just look out for a “lending enabled” term within the product details page under the ASIN reference.
  • For books you already own check the details in your “manage my Kindle” page.  Next to the image you will see a Loan this book button if lending is permitted.

Lending Restrictions

There are quite a few restrictions regarding the lending of Kindle ebooks:

  • Only accounts registered in the US can lend out books.
  • You may lend internationally if the publisher has agreed to this.  Some titles may have restricted copyright and so you will not be allowed to lend to a friend overseas.
  • Books may only be loaned once and for a period of 14 days.
  • During lending you won’t be able to read your book.

How Lending Kindle Books Works

The process is pretty straightforward.  In either “manage my Kindle” or the product details page of a book you own, you may click the “loan this book” icon.  You will then fill in a short form with the recipients name, email address and any message you wish to send.

The borrower will be notified by email that a book is available for them.  They have 7 days to accept the offer by logging into your account and downloading the title to the device you choose.  14 days are then allowed for your friend to enjoy reading.

Any annotations made by the lender will not be viewable to the borrower.  When the lending period is over the lender will still see their original annotations.  If the borrower chooses to purchase the title at a later date their previous annotations will be viewable on their personal copy.

As you can see the Kindle book lending feature is a huge step in the right direction, but falls short of the flexibility we are used to in the real world.

Kindle Library Lending

Of course many customers have bemoaned the fact that you needed a Sony or Nook reader if you wanted to enjoy ebooks free of charge from your local library.  But in April 2011, Amazon announced that Kindle library lending would become available later in the year.

This is a smart move likely to prove popular with owners of Kindles and Kindle apps.  You can even write margin notes when borrowing an ebook and the Amazon store will remember and re-instate those notes if you borrowed or bought the same book again!

Kindle lending is getting better, there is no doubt!

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