Amazon Opens Lending Library for Kindle

But it's only for those who belong to its Prime program
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2011 2:04 PM CDT
Amazon Opens Lending Library for Kindle eBooks
Jeff Bezos, chairman and CEO of, holds a Kindle Fire.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Starting today, Kindle users who are Amazon Prime subscribers—and no one else—will have access to Amazon’s new ebook lending library. The library won’t be available to those using Kindle apps on other devices, and it’s opening with a fairly small selection of books: just over 5,000, the Wall Street Journal reports. That’s because none of the top six US publishers are participating in the plan.

Publishers are worried that such a library could hurt both sales of older books and the publishers’ ties to other booksellers. Still, the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library will offer about 100 bestsellers of the past and present. Users will be allowed one book per month, and they can keep it until they download a new one. A librarian tells the Journal he’s not bothered by the competition. “There's a lot of people that can't afford Amazon Prime,” he says. (The plan is $79 a year, and it gives members breaks on shipping along with movie streaming.)

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