January 19, 2011
at the end of last year, Amazon announced Kindle lending which is similar to nook lending:
Eligible Kindle books can be loaned once for a period of 14 days. The borrower does not need to own a Kindle — Kindle books can also be read using our free Kindle reading applications for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android devices. Not all books are lendable — it is up to the publisher or rights holder to determine which titles are eligible for lending. The lender will not be able to read the book during the loan period.
of course, it didn’t take long for strangers to create their own facebook lending library for Kindle copies (via GalleyCat) with an active good reads counterpart (via Dear Author) and a web site dedicated to Kindle Lending (via lifehacker). but as Jane on Dear Author points out, Kindle lending is quite restrictive (link to handy chart comparing Kindle and nook lending, as well as a list of participating publishers); lending is determined by the publishers or rights holder (see above verbage from Amazon) who aren’t likely to jump on this band wagon.
in fact, it should come as no surprise that in the last few weeks, it appears that the number of lendable titles on the nook is decreasing. again, Jane from Dear Author:
Apparently publishers really don’t like digital lending even though they want to keep charging us print prices without giving digital readers corresponding print rights for the digital books. In other words, charge the consumer the same price but don’t allow her to trade, resell, or loan the book out.
oh publishers, when will you learn?! when did lending become a bad word? haven’t publishers made big money from library budgets for years?
at least from a device perspective, Barnes & Noble and the nook are willing to play with libraries and allow lending via that route, small victories.
posting by marin