When this was first announced I thought it would kill the ebook market. But then again, books have always been free at the library and for some reason Barnes and Noble and Amazon do extremely well selling books. Also, the same day that checking out ebooks from a library was announced, I bought an ebook…go figure.
So far, I’ve checked out four books from the library and I have to say its pretty sweet. I’m trying to read 52 books this year (one a week) and if I were to buy 52 books, that would add up pretty quickly (If an average book is $10 for the kindle then I’d be out over $500 on the year.). And while it’s extremely convenient to check out a book from my living room, its’ oddly frustrating because there is still a wait to check out books!? how does that happen exactly? Does the library not have enough digital copies of the book? Why in the world would you put a restriction on this? I’m sure there is some sort of limitation that requires them to do this but it was a bit of a shock to me and somewhat frustrating when all the books you want to read are checked out or have a hold on them.
Regardless, I found a few books that I checked out and the process is incredibly easy. The hardest part is navigating the library site and actually finding something you want to read (and something that is available). After you have your selection, you are a few clicks away from reading a free book on your Kindle. This is all kinds of awesome.
On a somewhat relevant topic, Amazon does let its Prime members ‘rent’ books for free through its Kindle Lending Library. Not just old stale books that everyone has read or the ones no one wants to read. They are letting users read current books that are on the bestsellers list. Very nice! The only caveat to this is that Amazon only lets you ‘rent’ one book per month. Not bad, but if you read a lot you’re still going to have to buy some books or see if they’re available at the library. So pick and choose which you buy and which you rent. Happy reading.