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Amazon Prime launches Kindle Owners' Lending Library

November 4, 2011 |  5:04 pm

Amazon Kindle Owner's Lending Library

Amazon Prime has added Kindle book lending to its list of perks, alongside streaming movies and TV shows and free two-day shipping from Amazon.com.

The service, which Amazon seems to be building up as a Netflix rival and even a "Netflix for books," runs at an annual subscription price of $79.

The Seattle-based tech firm and online retail powerhouse's Kindle Owners' Lending Library allows Amazon Prime members to borrow one book a month from a specific selection that Amazon said includes "over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers." Amazon said the Lending Library has more than 5,000 titles to choose from.

Of course, in order to read the borrowed Kindle books, an Amazon Prime subscriber has to own a Kindle e-reader or have a device with a Kindle app to read the books on -- such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.

Seems straightforward enough, right? Barnes & Noble has offered a similar feature called LendMe that has no cost associated with it and allows Nook owners to lend Nook books to friends for up to 14 days.

But the Kindle Owners' Lending Library isn't without its own controversy.

As noted on our sister blog Jacket Copy, Amazon "had approached publishers about participating in the program for a flat fee -- and many turned them down. Much to their surprise, their books appeared as part of the program anyway."

What Amazon's bold move mean for e-books and Kindle lending remains to be seen, but head over to Jacket Copy to read more about the growing backlash.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

Image: A screenshot of the Kindle Owners' Lending Library for Amazon Prime subscribers. Credit: Amazon.com

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