Kindle Lending Coming to Public Libraries

Public libraries across the U.S. are preparing to roll out a program that will allow them to lend books via the Kindle e-reader.

There’s a lot to like about libraries: free books, free Internet, peace and quiet. If there were a library near my house, I’d go there all the time. Sadly the nearest one is a 30-minute drive and is closed on Sundays.

That’s the problem with libraries: they are great for students and people who don’t work for a living. As much as I like libraries, I don’t want to go after work and I don’t want to give up an hour-and-a-half of the little free time I have returning books.

To use the e-book lending service, you’ll need a library card, an Amazon account, and a computer with an Internet connection. Books will be borrowed from the local library’s website – available titles will have a “Send to Kindle” link. Click it and you’ll be sent to Amazon, where the book can be downloaded to the Kindle either by Wi-Fi or USB. Whispernet (3G) is’n’t supported.

The program is being run by Overdrive, which handles digital lending at 15,000 public libraries worldwide and 11,000 in the U.S. At this stage it’s unclear how many books will be offered, but the selection won’t be limited to out-of-copyright titles that can be downloaded for free anyway – there will be some new stuff in there.

Arguably the best part about the  service is not having to physically return the books – to be a good library customer, all you have to do is to remember to hit delete (remember, they can always do it for you if you forget).

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