Amazon has quietly announced the addition of a hugely-anticipated new feature: renting Kindle e-books from your local library. Amazon has partnered with over 11,000 libraries across the United States to make this new feature a reality.
Amazon’s director of their Kindle development had this to say about the new feature, including some pleasant surprises:
“Starting today, millions of Kindle customers can borrow Kindle books from their local libraries,” said Jay Marine, Director, Amazon Kindle. “Libraries are a critical part of our communities and we’re excited to be making Kindle books available at more than 11,000 local libraries around the country. We’re even doing a little extra here – normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we’re fixing this by extending our Whispersync technology to library books, so your notes, highlights and bookmarks are always backed up and available the next time you check out the book or if you decide to buy the book.”
How will the new feature work? Kindle readers will visit their local library’s website where they will be able to search for and borrow e-books. Choosing a book to “borrow” will bring the reader to Amazon’s website, where they will be asked to log in to their Amazon account. The selected book will then be delivered to the selected device via Wi-Fi, or can be transferred via USB.
This new feature is available across the board — whether you have any generation Kindle device, or the free apps available on a variety of smart phones and MP3 players, you’ll be able to borrow Kindle e-books from your local library.
How do you feel about this addition? Do you think the incredibly easy access to e-books will hurt sales for Amazon and book publishers?