We all love to read books. We purchase a number of books of our choice and treasure our collection. But, we also love to share this collection with our friends and patrons. We wish to share with them our ideas, thoughts and comments pertaining to the book, its author, its storyline and so on. This is equally applicable for both printed books and e-books. We want this freedom irrespective of its media being print or digital. With printed books, this is no issue at all but with e-books issues of DRM and publishers and distributers disinterests becomes big obstacles in lending and borrowing books. With this perspective in mind, recognizing and appreciating peoples’ sentiments, Amazon has announced its plans to allow its Kindle book reader users to “lend” electronic books to other Amazon account holders.
Amazon has associated a set of rules that govern the process of lending books. They are briefly described below:
1. All the books cannot be loaned. Publishers and rights holders have full discretion to tag a title as eligible for lending or not. Unfortunately, to maximize their profit, most of the popular e-books are not being entitled for lending by publishers.
2. Only U.S. based customers can initiate lending of e-books and recipients in certain countries won’t have access to certain e-books.
3. An e-book can be lent out only once.
4. The recipient must accept the loan within 7 days or else it will be reverted back to the owner’s account.
5. An e-book loan can last upto 14 days only.
6. The owner of the e-book does not have access to it till the time it is lent out. That means that the owner won’t be able to read that e-book on any of its devices for a loan period of 14 days.
7. The recipient of loaned e-book must be a member of Amazon although owning a Kindle is not a necessary requirement. The loaned e-books can also be read on other devices including the iPhone, iPad, Android, and the Blackberry.
8. The annotations made on the e-book are not mutually visible to the owner or the recipient of the loaned e-book.
Amazon’s low priced e-book editions offer great value for its customers. The current lending feature of e-books has made it even more attractive. It gels in well with the natural human tendency of sharing books. We wish that the above restrictions are relaxed further by Amazon to benefit its customer to take full advantage of current digital revolution in print media. Please read on our next article to know how an e-book can be lent out.