Amazon Is Getting Into The Book-Lending Business
Amazon isn't content to just shut down bookstores--now they're going after libraries.
Not really, although they did just announced the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which allows Amazon Prime members to rent up to one digital book per month with no due date.
It comes with a couple of caveats. When you download an eBook, you can only read it on Kindle devices, so iPad users can't rent books through the Kindle app. You can only rent one book at a time--when you rent another book, the first one disappears (though notes and highlighting are saved, if you decide to buy it or rent it again).
Oh, yea, and none of the big six publishing houses are participating, so there's only about 5,000 books available to rent.
The Big Six aren't climbing on board for the same reason that Netflix never has any good streaming movies; they're afraid it'll cut into their bottom line. Why buy a book, especially one you don't plan on reading again, if you can rent it?
But even without the Big Six, the selection isn't too bad. A cursory look at the site shows off The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I would be interested in reading at least one of those books!
While not perfect, it's great news for Prime members, and a pretty good argument in favor of the $79-a-year service. On top of the lending library, Prime members have access to unlimited two-day shipping and a flat rate of $4 for one-day shipping, as well as streaming movies and television shows (although their selection is worse than Netflix).
Still, that's a lot of entertainment for $79 in a calendar year, even if you don't get access to all the latest and greatest books and movies.
What say you? Is this going to inspire anyone to sign up for Amazon Prime?
To leave a comment