Amazon Lending Library. Watch out libraries
Look out libraries, Amazon may have you in its sights with the new Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.
The new program allows Kindle owners to borrow up to one book a month, with no fixed return date. The perk is being bundled with Amazon Prime membership, which includes free shipping and streaming movies for the $79 annual fee. So for pure reading, it isn't a better deal than a library card at the Enoch Pratt or another area library.
Amazon is touting the service with titles such as "Water for Elephants," "Moneyball," and "The Finkler Question." But that masks one of the short-comings: a lack of hot, new best-sellers. The Wall Street Journal noted: “None of the six largest publishers in the U.S. is participating. Several senior publishing executives said recently they were concerned that a digital-lending program of the sort contemplated by Amazon would harm future sales of their older titles or damage ties to other book retailers.”
It would be foolhardy to predict the impact of Amazon's service on the program's first day. That would be like making an Opening Day prediction that the St. Louis Cardinals would win the World Series. Hah! But with Amazon's marketing might, and its broadening lineup of Kindles, I bet the new program will eventually gain a big consumer base -- even if it doesn't hurt libraries.,