Kindle Owners' Lending Library: Amazon's New Book-Lending Service

What is the Kindle Owners' Lending Library?

The Kindle Owners' Lending Library is a new program by online retailing giantAmazon. The program basically allows people to borrow books instead of purchasing them. However, the program is available only to people who own Kindle and Kindle Fire devices. In addition, these people also have to be subscribers of the Amazon Prime program. That said, before you are able to borrow a book, your e-reader has to be Kindle or Kindle Fire and that you should be a subscriber of Amazon Prime.

For a start, Amazon will be offering approximately 5,000 book titles in its lending library. These 5,000 titles will include over 100 former and current national bestsellers. For instance, Stephen R. Covey's book, 'The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People' will be available for borrowing.

This is definitely a bold move by Amazon. You don't have to be an expert in the book publishing industry to see the many risks associated with the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. In fact, six of the largest book publishers in the United States are not participating in the program. What does this mean? It means only one thing and that is they think that they have more to lose than gain in the program. But who knows, things may change in the future. Remember that Kindle Owners' Lending Library is in its launching stage. If it works, there is no reason why publishers won't place their books in the picture.

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Limitations of the Program

As we said earlier, your e-reader device has to be a Kindle or Kindle Fire before you can avail of the program. It will not work on the iPad and iPhone products by Apple. It's ironic though that Kindle books can be read in said Apple devices. Well, Amazon said it clear when they stated that this restriction is intended to drive sales of the Kindle devices. Smart marketing move by Amazon, you have to admit. The question is, will people be willing to buy a Kindle just to be able to borrow a book. I don't think so. I still say that majority of those who are going to use the Kindle Owners' Lending Library will be current Kindle owners. Nobody's going to buy a Kindle just to be able to use the Lending Library.

Furthermore, you also have to be an Amazon Prime subscriber before you can borrow a book. Prime is a service that will cost you $79 a year. It is a membership plan that offers package-shipping perks. It also boasts of a video-streaming service. There are about 13,000 TV shows and movies currently available for streaming. It is obvious that the Kindle Owners' Lending Library is also an effort by Amazon to increase its Prime subscribers.

What do you think?

Does Kindle Owners' Lending Service look attractive to you? Do you think it's worth it? Are you willing to pay the $79 for Amazon Prime just so you can borrow books? Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks.

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