A new initiative from Amazon to allow Kindle owners to borrow books for ‘free’ from its library of titles has launched in the US, but people on this side of the Atlantic have been left out in the cold.
While Amazon claim this is a ‘free’ service, that’s not quite true as only customers who have an Amazon Prime account will have access to this service, with an annual subscription to Prime costing $79.
Books of course can be borrowed directly from the Kindle Store on your Kindle ereader or tablet and returned once finished. As we said only one book can be borrowed at one time and you’ll need to return your current selection before choosing another.
As with all Kindle books, your notes, highlights and bookmarks in borrowed books will be saved, so you'll have them later if you purchase or re-borrow the book.
In order to facilitate this library service, Amazon has come to an arrangement with publishers. For the vast majority of titles, Amazon has reached agreement with publishers to include titles for a fixed fee but in some cases, Amazon is purchasing a title each time it is borrowed by a reader.
As we said the service is not available in the UK at the moment and we may have to wait some time before we see it arrive on these shores. Like the Kindle Fire, ad-funded Kindles and the Kindle Touch we're just going to have to wait and see when the new feature arrives outside the US.
Currently many libraries in the UK offer ebook lending but not in the .mobi format supported by the Kindle.