Before e-books I would have considered lending my hard copy to any one of my friends who expressed interest. Alas as an e-book that I read on my Amazon Kindle Fire that did not seem possible. While it turned out that I was incorrect in that assumption (you can lend Kindle e-books with some major limitations), the lending of e-books has a long way to go – in my book.
To better illustrate my point here is what Amazon.com writes about the lending of e-books:
You can lend a Kindle book to another reader for up to 14 days. The borrower does not need to own a Fire or Kindle device and can read the book after downloading a free Kindle reading app.
Note: A book can only be loaned one time. Magazines and newspapers are not currently available for lending.
Table of Contents
- Loan a Kindle Book from the Product Detail Page
- Loan a Kindle Book from Manage Your Content and Devices
- Borrow from a Friend
- Return a Loaned Book
Loan a Kindle Book from the Product Detail Page
You can loan eligible Kindle books from the product detail page of a book you purchased on Amazon.
During the loan period, you will not be able to read the book that you loaned.
To loan a Kindle book:
- Go to the Kindle Store from your computer, and then locate the title you’d
like to loan.
- On the product detail page, click Loan this book. You will be sent to
the Loan this book page.
- Enter the recipient’s e-mail address and an optional message.
Note: Be sure to send the Kindle book loan notification to your friend’s personal e-mail address and not their Send-to-Kindle e-mail address.
- Click Send now.
Easy right? NOT! 14 days is a relatively short time for some of us to read an entire book. And that the clock is ticking from the moment your lending recipient clicks on the book does not enhance the experience. You can lend a Kindle book to a non-Kindle user but the user has to download the free Kindle app – that’s ok and even smart as it will introduce the platform to non-users.
The practice that you can only lend the book one time is a bad one. Perhaps Amazon is worried that Kindle users might become their own lending libraries robbing Amazon of future revenue opportunities.
With all the technology that Amazon.com has at its disposal how could a reader be confused with a lending library? If I have a printed book I am able to lend it as many times as I would like – which is normally mitigated by the fact that people don’t necessarily return lent books from one another.
Why wouldn’t Amazon Kindle allow me the e-book ‘owner’ to lend the book as many times as I like? I feel that it’s acceptable practice (to me) if the e-book owner would then not be able to read the book (as is the case) until the person to whom the book was lent ‘returned’ the book. In this example then one copy moving around but at the e-book owner’s discretion to be lent as many times as desired. It also would follow that the owner of the e-book should have the option of pulling back the book at any time.
Overall I remain an Amazon.com aficionado but as time as passed the bloom is coming off of the rose and what’s left behind is not always so pretty.
Do you agree that lending e-books should be easier and better than it is today?