Today in the Amazon Kindle discussion boards it was revealed that the promised lending feature for Kindle Books is now active.
Today, we’re pleased to launch Kindle Book Lending, a new feature that lets you loan Kindle books to anyone you choose. The borrower does not need to own a Kindle. Kindle books can be read on Kindle or using our free Kindle reading applications for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Android devices. Each eligible book can be lent once for a period of 14 days. Not all e-books are lendable – the publisher or rights holder determines which titles are enabled for lending. For more information on how to loan Kindle books, please visit www.amazon.com/kindle-lending.
You can read all the details on the process at the Lending Kindle Books Help Page at Amazon.com.
One interesting tidbit that I found on the page is that the individual lending the book is not able to read it during the 14 day loan period. I wonder why that is – does anyone know?
The other thing that you need to be aware of is the current geographic restrictions on this loaner program:
At this time, Kindle book lending can only be initiated by customers residing in the United States. If a loan is initiated to a customer outside the United States, the borrower may not be able to accept the loan if the title is not available in their country due to publisher geographical rights.
In these cases the borrower will be notified of this during the Loan redemption process, and the book reading and lending rights will return to the lender at the end of seven days from loan initiation. You can always check the status of a loan by viewing the book on the Manage Your Kindle page.
Despite the restriction this will likely be a huge benefit for Kindle owners who want to share with their friends. It will also end up being a revenue point for Amazon as the individuals receiving the loaned books need to purchase it to finish after the 14 days are up. Unless of course they are speed readers.