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With the dawning of the digital era, printed texts and written books are being replaced. While there was a huge uproar from book junkies and purists over the digital switch early on, much of that has faded now. Paper books are still popular, but many people (including the initial objectors) have hopped on the eBook bandwagon and are generally happy with the experience. Kindles and Nooks have won the heart of many literary purists who at one point swore reading on screen could never provide the literary experience that paper pages does.
One thing that the eBook industry has struggled with from the start is the lending process. Books have a wonderful way of uniting reads because friends can share meaningful reads with one another. You can pass a beaten up and worn out book to a friend and it can really mean something. What many kindle users (including myself) may not have known when they first started using their device is that you too can share your kindle buys with friends.
How to Lend Kindle Books
The first step in lending a book you’ve purchased on your Kindle to a friend is making sure that the book you have is lendable by the publisher’s standards. As eBooks become more popular, more and more publishers will get with the program when it comes to allowing lending. However, as it stands the lend-ability of eBooks can be spotty. When you link to your Kindle Library from your Amazon account, you can look at the details of each book you’ve purchased to see if they are available to lend. Do this by clicking the + sign button near each of the book icons. This will display a window that explains that a book can either be loaned out or cannot. If you can lend the book, there will be a button that says “Loan this book” next to it.
You can also check to see the lending status of a book from you Kindle when you are purchasing a book in the Kindle Store. The product detail page will show whether lending on that purchase is “Enabled” or “Disabled”. If the book that you want does not have lending “Enabled” and you know you’ll really want to lend it you, you can wait to see if the publisher changes their policy. However, this may take a long time or may never happen at all.
Loaning it Out: When you find a book that is loanable all you have to do is click the “Loan this book” button in your Amazon account page for the book. A pretty self-explanatory window will appear where you enter the recipient’s email address, name, who it’s from, and a personal message if you like. The person you are sending to has up to seven days to accept the loan, but only 14 days to keep the loaned book to read.
While lending is not available on every purchase you make from your Kindle more and more publishers are catching on to the craze. If e-books are truly hoping to replace paper books, then they are going to have to offer the same things paper book offer plus some. While they certainly have the “plus some”, the lending process is one area that e-books have been behind on for several years. Amazon’s lending policies are a huge step for e-books and a wonderful way to share your e-reads.