Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Amazon Allows You To Checkout Kindle Books At Local Libraries

Paring an e-book reader app and a local library might sound like an odd match but that's exactly what Amazon announced today. The company plans to offer a new feature, launching later this year, that will allow Kindle customers to borrow Kindle books from over 11,000 libraries in the United States.

The exact details of the process and how the book usage will be monitored weren't released, but Kindle app users will be able to check out e-books from their local libraries on all Kindle models and platform apps. The Whispersync technology will then preserve digital notes and bookmarks in case the book is checked out again or purchased through Amazon.

"We're doing a little something extra here," Marine continued. "Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we're extending our Whispersync technology so that you can highlight and add margin notes to Kindle books you check out from your local library. Your notes will not show up when the next patron checks out the book. But if you check out the book again, or subsequently buy it, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced."

With Kindle Library Lending, customers can take advantage of all of the unique features of Kindle and Kindle books, including:

  • Paper-like Pearl electronic-ink display
  • No glare even in bright sunlight
  • Lighter than a paperback - weighs just 8.5 ounces and holds up to 3,500 books
  • Up to one month of battery life with wireless off
  • Read everywhere with free Kindle apps for Android, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry and Windows Phone
  • Whispersync technology wirelessly sync your books, notes, highlights, and last page read across Kindle and free Kindle reading apps
  • Real Page Numbers - easily reference passages with page numbers that correspond to actual print editions

Amazon is working with OverDrive, the leading provider of digital content solutions for over 11,000 public and educational libraries in the United States, to bring a seamless library borrowing experience to Kindle customers.

It should be interesting to see how the program works and what the terms and conditions are. Given that you are 'checking out' these books I'm assuming you only have a few days to possibly a week to read it. I'm wondering how Amazon is going to control that and what mechanisms will be in place to prevent users from just 'not returning' the book (LOL).

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