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Intelligent of design ijoel&co
By cholis
Tuesday, November 30, 1999 00:00:00 Clicks: 311 Send to a friend Print Version
Still pondering the relative merits of paying for an Amazon Prime membership? Not sure whether the free expedited shipping and video streaming are worth the price? Well, now the online retailer has added another service to its repertoire: ebook lending.

In an effort to boost sales of Amazon's Kindle ebook reader and Kindle Fire tablet, starting today, customers with a Prime membership will be able to borrow one book at a time from a selection of about 5,000 titles, including some 100 current and former bestsellers, in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library. The program is fairly limited; in addition to only being able to borrow one book at a time (if a customer borrows a second book, the first will disappear from their device), borrowers can also only borrow one per month, though they can keep it as long as they like. Borrowed books can also only be accessed via Kindle or Kindle Fire devices, as opposed to purchased ebooks which customers can also read on an iPhone or iPad.

Borrowing ebooks isn't a new concept — many library systems around the country have been offering ebooks for patrons to check out for a while now. Some publishers are concerned that giving customers the ability to borrow ebooks for free (or as part of a program like Amazon Prime) will harm sales, but others believe that making some books available will entice customers to purchase other titles that might otherwise be overlooked.
 
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