It’s getting harder and harder to resist becoming an Amazon Prime member. For $80 a year, subscribers have access to free two-day shipping, video on demand that rivals Netflix and now they’ll be able to rent Kindle books for free.
According to Amazon, users will be able to electronically “borrow” up to one book per month and “return” it whenever they please—there are no “rush through your book in 10 days!” restrictions here. The main caveat is that users can only take out one book at a time, but with the unlimited borrowing window, that’s a fair concession to make. The other caveat is that the Lending Library won’t be accessible from Amazon’s plethora of Kindle apps for other platforms such as iOS, Android, and BlackBerry—it’s restricted to hardware Kindles only.
As noted by the Wall Street Journal, none of the six largest US publishers are participating in the program yet, and several executives reportedly said they believed such a service might harm future sales of older titles.