One of the great features of the Amazon Kindle is the ability for users to loan books to each other. Eligible Kindle books can be loaned once for a 14 day period. The borrower doesn’t even need to own a Kindle, as long as he or she has a device that supports the Kindle app. This includes PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android devices. If you don’t have enough friends with Kindle eBooks to make borrowing worthwhile, you’re in luck, as the Kindle Lending Club is an online service where you can lend and borrow Kindle eBooks to and from complete strangers.
The lending club works by matching borrowers and lenders. You can search for a book, and then you’ll be presented with a list of matches. After each entry, you can select whether you want to buy the book on Amazon, lend it, or borrow it. Not all books can be borrowed, as the publisher can prohibit that feature with each book. If the book isn’t borrowable, you’ll see only the link to buy it.
If a book is available to be borrowed, you’ll go on a waiting list of readers looking to borrow it, or, if there is no waiting list, your request will be forwarded to an owner. Once it has been loaned to you, you’ll be sent an email notification with a link to download the book to your Kindle device/app.
Lending works pretty much the same way, but in reverse. If readers are looking to borrow the book, you’ll be presented with a list of these readers, and you will be walked through the steps of lending it to a reader.
If you’re a fast reader, and don’t mind the fact that not all books are available, you might read free for the rest of your Kindle life. Of course, such a system only works when readers share books as well, so hopefully you’ll see fit to share your purchases. At the very least, the Kindle Reading Club offers a great “try before you buy” service.
Is this something you could see yourself using, or are Kindle books cheap enough that you can’t be bothered?