Saturday, February 19, 2011

(Kindle) Lending Club

As is apparent from my last few posts on the Kindle, I've become a huge fan of it. In the last couple months, Amazon has enabled you to "lend" certain Kindle books to others via the website - much like how you can lend a paper back to a friend - meaning you can possibly avoid purchasing another book. This is especially nice, as the pricing decision has moved to publishers there are now instances where the Kindle version of a book is more expensive than the hardcover (don't ask me why).

Alas, to effectively lend/borrow books, you need to know someone who has the book on kindle and then swap. I've been trying to work my way through Verne's reading list, but know very few other people who both have a Kindle and an interest in these books. Enter the (Kindle) Lending Club.

Shortly after Amazon announced the feature, a facebook group was started to match people who have books, with those who want to read them. This quickly evolved into a more structured website called the (Kindle) Book Lending Club - Amazon has subsequently made them drop "Kindle" from their name for trade mark purposes. A quick signup, and you can add a list of books you are willing to lend, as well as a list you'd like to borrow. I did this a few weeks ago, and then started waiting... To be frank, I was ready to write the site off as I hadn't had anything shared with me, nor requested from me until this past Tuesday when a book showed up in my inbox. A few clicks, and it's delivered via wireless to the Kindle and I'm off and reading a new book.

Hopefully, The Book Lending Club will continue to attract more users. Only once true mass is achieved will that frustrating wait fall away. Additionally, Amazon leaves the decision of whether to enable lending on a book up to the publisher, at the moment there are quite a few books that you can't lend. Lastly, there's a 14 day limit on a lend, meaning that you need to finish reading in that time, or you'll never knows what happens. On that note I better get back to the book...

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