How To Loan Your Kindle E-Books To Other Amazon Members

Amazon Kindle 3G WiFi3   How To Loan Your Kindle E Books To Other Amazon MembersIf you’re an avid Kindle e-book reader like I am, you may be happy to know that Amazon now allows members to share their Kindle e-books with other Kindle users. This feature has been available with other e-book sellers for quite some time, most notably Barnes and Noble’s Nook e-reading service. As you may know, the Kindle 3G e-book reader was Amazon’s best-selling product over the holiday season.

As we have previously reviewed here on MUO, the Kindle e-reading app is available for all major devices, including the iPhone, iPad, Android, and the Blackberry. Kindle e-books can even be read on the Mac and PC. The price of Amazon e-books are still relatively great value, but now with their e-book lending feature, the service is even more attractive.

How It Works

Basically, all your purchased Kindle e-books in your Kindle library can be loaned out, but unfortunately only if the publisher of an e-book makes it lendable. So far out of the 15 purchased e-books in my Kindle library, only three are lendable. But I”˜m sure more publishers will come on board with this service in the coming months.

When you link to your Kindle Library on Amazon, you can click on the + button of each of your Kindle e-books to see if they are available for loan.

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Likewise, when you browse for e-books on the Kindle Store, it will also indicate if the e-book is lendable.

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The other caveat to this service is that Kindle e-books can only be loaned out for 14 days.

The recipient of your lendable e-book does not have to own a Kindle. The e-books can also be read on other devices as stated above. However, the borrower of the e-book must already be or become an Amazon member to access the loaned e-book.

Loaning An E-Book

When you’re ready to loan one of your e-books, simply click on the “Loan this book” button, and the resulting lending details will appear.

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The recipient of the loan has up to 7 days to accept the loan, and only 14 days to keep the loaned e-book for reading purposes. While your e-book is loaned out, you don’t have access to read it, which is basically the same as loaning out a paper book.

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Additionally, when your e-book is on loan, all your annotations for the e-book are not visible to the borrower. Making annotations visible or not should be a preference option, as I could imagine sharing annotations could be a great study tool between two people sharing an e-book. The borrower can also make annotations in the e-book which are not visible to the lender. According to Amazon, “if a borrower purchases the same title after the loan has ended, any notes and highlights made in the loaned book will be retained in the purchased version“.

You can of course view the status of your loans from your Kindle library, by again clicking the + symbol next to the title and viewing the details of the e-books you have loaned or borrowed. You will also receive notifications about the status of your loaned and borrowed e-books.

While 14 days is a relatively short time to loan out a book, unlike with paper books you will at least get your book back in a reasonable time. Of course there should also be an option to pass along e-books to someone indefinitely, as can be done with paper books.

Amazon also says “Kindle book lending can only be initiated by customers residing in the United States.  If a loan is initiated to a customer outside the United States, the borrower may not be able to accept the loan if the title is not available in their country due to publisher geographical rights“.

Finding Lendable E-Books

If you don’t have a few friends to lend or borrow e-books, you might consider joining one of several social networking sites for book readers.

Members of Goodreads, for example, have already created a Kindle Lending group on the site for sharing their e-books.

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You could go through your list of e-books to see which are available, tag them as lendable, and create a link to your list for others to view.

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A few groups on Facebook, such as this one and this one, have already been set up for lendable books as well. I’m sure that soon some enterprising web developers will be creating entire websites based on this and other e-book lending services.

There’s much to be desired about Amazon’s e-book lending feature. You should, for example, be able to initiate the lending process from within the Kindle reader or a Kindle e-reading application.

Let us know what you think about this feature. Have you tried it yet? What do you like about it, and what’s missing?

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13 Comments -

0 votes

Mobile Phone

Well It a good service started. But I want to know it is free or not

0 votes

Bakari

Yep, it’s a free service. It only works though for ebooks you have purchased.

0 votes

Anonymous

Hi we’re setting up a site to allow Kindle and nook users to make ebook lending simple! visit http://www.booklends.com to sign up for our mailing list, and we’ll let you know when the site is ready…

0 votes

Bakari

Yeah, it’s long overdue. I’m glad that started featuring it.

0 votes

booklends

Hi we’re setting up a site to allow Kindle and nook users to make ebook lending simple! visit http://www.booklends.com to sign up for our mailing list, and we’ll let you know when the site is ready…

0 votes

Bakari

Yeah, it’s long overdue. I’m glad that started featuring it.

0 votes

ME

This was really helpful! I’m going to try that soon…

0 votes

Bakari

ME, thanks fro the feedback.

0 votes

WendyElf

Here in the UK we don’t have the Kindle lending book facility yet…. but hopefully they will be offering that service to us soon!

0 votes

Babs

I tested it — very easy. Only thing I didn’t realize at the time…you can only loan a title one time in total. So I loaned a book as a test that a friend wanted to read and now I can’t loan it to that friend! I didn’t see the one time limit anywhere on the Amazon site.

0 votes

Christen

They discreetly put that limitation in the first line: “Eligible Kindle books can be loaned once for a period of 14 days.” – see that? Loaned ONCE for a period of 14 days.

I had to read it 10 times…

0 votes

MP

LendInk – http://www.lendink.com has hundreds of books to borrow. The easiest way to loan and borrow Nook and Kindle books.

0 votes

Bakari

MP, thanks fro the feedback. Appreciate it.