Today Amazon in the UK announced the imminent arrival of the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. It has been available in the USA for some time however it will arrive later this month in the UK.
Kindle owners will be able to borrow a book from a "library or over 200,000 books" and read it on any Kindle device. The wording here is quite specific so this suggests it will not be available on the Kindle App for smartphones and tablets.
Users can borrow one book at a time and a maximum of one a month; there is no 'due date' on a borrow.
Although there is technically no cost for the service, you need to sign up for Amazon Prime. It's an odd way of funding the Lending Library but it is exactly how they do it in the USA so the model clearly works.
Amazon Prime costs £49 per year and for this you get to choose 'Free' One day delivery on Amazon purchases, cheaper Express and evening delivery too. Worth noting that Amazon Prime is not available on all Amazon purchases!
It is a win-win for Amazon here. If you don't purchase much from Amazon the £49 is funding the library. If you do chose to make extensive use of the Prime delivery option Amazon are making profits on all your other purchases.
Is it really worth £49 for a maximum of 12 books? This will depend on you being a regular Amazon purchaser. Also, the Lending Library is over 200,000 books however there are currently over 1.5 million books available for the Kindle in the UK so the vast majority are not part of the lending service!
The Lending Library will arrive later this month.
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