I’ve looked a bit deeper into the Kindle Lending Library and I do have a few issues with it in its current format. For one the titles are currently very limited, which I’ll get into further below. But more annoying is that the only way to browse through the current listing is on a Kindle device and it loads every title eligible for lending without the ability to sort. Now, you can search for an individual title and if it’s available to borrow it will be noted as such. But right now it’s a very sloppy means to discover potential books.
The other issue I have is that the service is very limited. I’m not so much bothered by the one loan a month, but rather that you can only borrow a single book at a time. If the books that are currently eligible to be borrowed remain available for a significant amount of time I guess that’s fine, but there’s no guarantee that what you see right now will still be amongst the titles when you’re able to order it.
What I find interesting, though is that the publishing industry as a whole seem to be against this new service. I’m not entirely sure what the fuss is about. For one, they’re still getting their money so far as that article leads me to believe. As for the promotion angle, how exactly does this lending library differ from people going to an actual library and borrowing the book? I would think it’s more likely a purchase of a book — probably even the actual book being borrowed — is far more likely to happen on Amazon’s website than by standing in a library browsing the shelves. Seems to me the real issue is that Amazon went ahead with the service without the consent of the publishers, but even so the fact remains that the money is still changing hands as if the book wasn’t free to the customer . . . so I guess I’m failing to see how this is such a bad thing?
Oh, well. As far as I’m concerned I think it’s a keen idea, though the actual service itself has a ways to go before it’s robust enough to be truly worthwhile.