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January 2, 2011

Amazon brings book lending to Kindle

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by Darren Allan

Amazon is attempting to make the world of Kindle e-reading a more tempting proposition by introducing a book lending scheme.

Kindle users will be able to loan an e-book they’ve purchased to a friend for two weeks, and they won’t need to own a Kindle to read it, either. The book can be enjoyed via the Kindle apps for the PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry or Android.

The catch is you can only lend books out once, to one of your friends, and only publications which are flagged as loan enabled can be passed on. That will likely be a fairly limited selection.

Also, the service is currently only available in the States. Amazon notes: “At this time, 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.”

We expect the service will be fully available over here in time, however. It’s a welcome addition to Kindle’s armoury as the e-reader attempts to hold its turf in the face of the likes of the iPad.

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