Amazon Adds e-Book Sharing Feature for Kindle Users
While e-book readers such as the Amazon Kindle have many advantages over the old dead-tree variety of books, users still couldn't share an e-book with friends unless they loaned out the whole device. That's no longer the case, with the Amazon Kindle at least.
Amazon plans to introduce a new feature that will let Kindle e-book owners loan their library to other people. While not everyone has a Kindle, nearly everyone has access to a free Kindle app , whether it be on a smartphone or computer. That means Kindle owners can share a Kindle book with just about anyone.
This feature is not exactly new to the e-book world. The Barnes & Noble Nook has had a similar feature since it was first launched. Adding this to the Kindle fills in one of the major holes e-book owners have complained about.
However, there are still a few drawbacks. For starters, owners can't loan out an e-book for an indefinite period. Amazon clearly states that "each book can be lent once for a loan period of 14-days and the lender cannot read the book during the loan period."
Even though you can't read a real book after having lent it to a friend, the time limitations will be bothersome to many readers.
Another potential problem: not all Kindle books can be shared. Publishers have the sole right to decide if a book can be shared, and it remains to be seen just how lenient publishers will be with this feature. It's a great way to get word-of-mouth publicity for popular books, but many publishers are so worried about the growing problem of e-book privacy that they may balk at the ability to share e-book files.
The feature will become available "later this year," according to Amazon.