Say what you will about the ills of capitalism. But when it comes to free-market enterprise, competition truly is a beautiful thing.
With Barnes & Noble stepping up its game yet again in the e-reader and tablet wars, Amazon upped the ante against its rival via its Kindle Owners’ Lending Library service.
The service allows Kindle owners to borrow one book at a time for free with a catch: they must be Amazon Prime members as well. For the uninitiated, Amazon Prime is is a program provided by the online retailer for $79 a year. Perks that come with the program include free two-day shipping on Amazon orders and unlimited instant streaming of nearly 13,000 movies and TV shows.
Now Prime membership comes with another perk: a free e-book to borrow each month. The service also does not have any due dates so you can borrow the books for as long as you like. Amazon touts that more than 5,000 titles are available for lending through the service, including more than 100 New York Times bestsellers. Titles touted by Amazon as part of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library include “Water for Elephants,” “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game,” and “Fast Food Nation.” Other titles available through the service include award-winning novel “The Finkler Question, motivational books like “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” biographies and memoirs such as “Kitchen Confidential,” and Pulitzer Prize-winning works like “Guns, Germs, and Steel.”
The service is available through the Kindle store on all Kindle devices, including the Kindle 4, Kindle Touch, Kindle Keyboard, Kindle Fire and older Kindle e-readers. Book borrowing is pretty much the same on all devices, with just some minor differences between e-readers and tablets. For step-by-step instructions on how to borrow a book through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library depending on the type of device that you have, read on to the next page.