Amazon has announced a new feature to Kindle that will let users “lend” ebooks to their friends. The feature is not universal and it is upon the publisher to decide whether or not to allow lending for any particular book. Books that are lending-compatible will now display a new ‘Loan Book‘ that users can click to lend the books to their friends – by entering their name and email address.
The recipient need not be a Kindle owner and can access the loaned book on any Kindle compatible device or application. However, books can only be loaned once and for a period of 14 days – possibly a move to encourage users to purchase their favorite books.
While it is too early to judge the future of this service, there is a good chance that Amazon may be looking at building a “network of book readers” using this feature. By letting book lovers lend/borrow books, Amazon can be mining data of the users’ book-loving friends and this could eventually bring about a social network for book readers.
Would you like to see such a network?