Kindle Lending: Libraries of the Future?

Have you ever wanted to read a new book, but didn’t feel like dishing out money or driving to the library? Now, you can lend a book free of cost through Kindle’s Book Lending program, at www.booklending.com.  People are able to lend out their Kindle eBooks to others for 14 days.  It is free of charge for both parties, but each book can only be lent out one time, and the owner of the book cannot access that book while the person borrowing it is reading it.  Once the borrower has finished the book, they can delete it and it returns to the owner, or if 14 days pass, the book disappears and goes back to the owner.  One great aspect of the site is that you can login using Facebook, so you don’t need to worry about creating yet another account.  The lending process is not immediate, however.  I tried to lend a book after signing in, and it told me that a request has been made.  I am not sure how long that will take, or if it will notify me that my book is ready to read.

I think eBook lending is a great idea, but I hope to see fewer restrictions on this as time goes on.  I think 14 days is a relatively short time period, especially considering you can’t just call and extend the time period as you can with a library.  I also think that the book should be able to be lent out more than once, although I do understand that it cannot be infinite or else fewer amounts of copies would be sold, as everyone could just borrow that book over and over again.  It will be interesting to see what competition occurs as different companies begin a lending process, and to see if many books will just become completely open source.

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