By Chris Scott Barr
Until recently, if someone asked to borrow a book from me, it took no real effort. I’d simply walk over to my bookshelf, grab the book and hand it to them. If I felt lazy, I’d make them get it themselves. These days, loaning out a book can be a complicated matter. With the rise of eBooks, you’re dealing with the same issues as sharing a digitally-downloaded movie or song. With DRM restrictions, you can’t just give them a copy. Thankfully, Amazon has now enabled their long-awaited lending feature to Kindle books.
Yes, you’ve been able to do this with Nook eBooks for some time, so Amazon is behind the curve. They promised us months ago that we would get this feature before the year’s end. They couldn’t have cut it much closer to the deadline. Books can be loaned out for up to 14 days, and as expected, you cannot read your book while it is on loan. What is strange is that the books can only be loaned out a single time. Also, not all books allow this feature. The decision to enable it is entirely up to the publisher, not Amazon.