Amazon announced today that its long-awaited Kindle library lending feature, which will be available at over 11,000 local libraries across the US, has finally gone live.
While Amazon is a bit late to the party — both Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Sony’s Reader already let consumers borrow e-books from libraries — the company appears to have made its library lending feature far easier to use than its competition.
To borrow a Kindle book from your library (assuming it’s participating in Kindle lending at this point), you only need to log on to your library’s website, choose “Send to Kindle” from a book’s entry, and login to your Amazon.com account when you’re redirected. The book will be automatically delivered to your Kindle via Amazon’s Whispernet technology via Wi-Fi, or you can transfer over USB.
In comparison, borrowing a library e-book with the Nook or Reader requires installing Adobe’s Digital Editions software and manually transferring the e-book over USB. Amazon’s more painless method will likely lead to more consumers taking advantage of library e-books.
Additionally, Kindle books borrowed from libraries keep track of your reading position, notes and highlights, just like a Kindle title that you purchase. Borrowed Kindle titles will also be available on all of your Kindle devices and apps, something that also isn’t possible with other e-book lending methods.