Borrow Books on Your Kindle? Yes You Can!
With today’s announcement by Amazon, the collection of books available to users of their popular Kindle e-reader device just grew by leaps and bounds.
The best part? Kindle users didn’t even have to pay a dime.
In partnership with mobile book lending app OverDrive, Amazon has arranged for Kindle users to peruse thousands of books in the collections of participating libraries, and when available, “check out” an e-book using their Amazon account. Overdrive, a leading e-book lending system, has had its own free iOS and Android app on the market for over a year now.
Of course, not every library is up to speed just yet; however, over 11,000 libraries in the United States have e-book collections tied to the OverDrive system. With that kind of coverage, why partner with Amazon?
By having their name tied to the online book sales powerhouse, OverDrive gets its name out there, tied to the Kindle’s Whispersync suite of note-taking, highlighting and bookmarking features. When your e-book is returned, these customizations are retained on your Kindle, to be found once again when/if you decide to re-check out (or buy) the book. Amazon gains the popular lending features of OverDrive, extending its service base well beyond the traditional sales model without having to do a lot of heavy infrastructure lifting.
“We are thrilled that we can be part of bringing library books to the unparalleled experience of reading on Kindle,” said OverDrive CEO Steve Potash. Do I smell a take-over buy-out somewhere down the road? With more than 15 million ebook checkouts under its belt last year, OverDrive is a literary fruit ripe for the picking.
Want to check things out for yourself? Simply contact your local library, to make sure you have appropriate login information for OverDrive (typically your library number and a PIN,) then have your library show you how to get your hands on your favorite electronic novel. Most participating libraries visually identify which titles are available for temporary download.
Expect a grand unveiling of the Kindle Lending Library sometime “later this year,” according to Potash.