How Kindle eBook Lending Works

How Kindle eBook Lending Works

Joelle Alcaidinho
Nov 11, 2011

As long time Kindle owners and avid users of the Kindle iOS app we were thrilled to hear about lending coming to the Kindle platform. While we do enjoy using our local public library for eBooks, the waits are generally very long for titles and more lending options are always a good thing in our book. With the lending program now live, it's time to take a look as to how borrowing eBooks from Amazon works.

The Skinny on Borrowing From Amazon

  1. Prime Membership Required: We all saw this one coming, in order to borrow eBooks from Amazon (they call this borrowing program the Kindle Owners' Lending Library) you must be an Amazon Prime member which costs $79 a year and includes other benefits like 2 day shipping from Amazon.

  2. Apps Need Not Apply: As the name Kindle Owners' Lending Library (KOLL) suggests the lending program is only for Kindle owners. Not folks like my mum who has a Prime membership but uses the Kindle app on her iPad.

  3. US Only: This is another restriction of the program that is also not going to come as a shock. In order to participate in the KOLL you must be in the United States. Although Amazon Prime membership is available outside of the United States the KOLL is restricted to US Prime members only.

  4. The 1%: While Amazon is well known for the wide variety and volume of titles available for the Kindle, the selection of available titles for the KOLL is very small. Only 1%, 5,000 or so of the titles in the vast Amazon Kindle repository are available for lending. Want to know which books made the lending cut? Here are three ways to search as suggest by eBookFriendly.

  5. One Book Per Month: Are you a voracious reader that devours books in a few weeks? Well, with the KOLL you are capped at borrowing one title per month. Thankfully our local public library caps us to 12 at a time and when we return one, we can replace it with another, which is very handy since we're quick readers.

  6. No Due Dates: Not quite done with that book after a month? Keep it for next month! With KOLL there are no due dates, your reading limitations are 1. Getting the title in the first place and 2. Accessing one title a month, thankfully there are no due dates for your one allotted title per month.

We admit to being a bit underwhelmed and think we'll continue to borrow using Overdrive from our local library as well as peruse our usual sources for free eBooks.

What do you think of the Kindle Owners' Lending Library?

(Images: Joelle Alcaidinho)

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