When I heard that Amazon was introducing a sharing feature for the Kindle, the world swam before my eyes and I nearly fainted. The possibilities! Of course, the deal was not quite as sweet as I had hoped, but I’m willing to give it some time and see what happens. Today I want to give a brief introduction and get you bookworms learning how to lend a Kindle book.
The idea is that sharing Kindle books would work identically to taking a physical book off your shelf, putting it in a friend’s hand, and agreeing that they could only have it for 14 days. And of course, while they had it, you would not be able to read it, because it would not be present on your own device.
And it works smoothly. The only trouble is, not all books are available for lending. Amazon never once promised that they would offer all, or even most books, for Kindle lending, but I didn’t know that at the time while I celebrated.
But before I get any further into the “How many books are available for Kindle lending?” discussion, I’ll walk you through the process itself, which is very easy.
How to share a book on the Kindle
Log in to your Amazon account.
From your account settings, go to the Digital Content tab.
From Digital Content, you can see a link for Manage my Kindle, assuming that you have bought and registered one.
On the next screen you will see the books in your own Kindle Library.
Each book listed has a menu of actions that can be taken for that particular book, such as deleting the title, transfering it to a computer, and when the book is eligible, you’ll see the option loan this title.
If that option is not there, you can’t loan it, and nobody else out there is loaning it to anyone else either. The decision to make a Kindle book loanable belongs to the publisher.
Actually sharing the book
For titles that can be shared, it’s reallyeasy at this point. Say that you asked me to loan you my copy of The Innocents Abroad. When I click on loan this title, the next screen asks me to input your name and email address. Then after I send it, you’ll get a link letting you know that I have shared it with you, and how to put it on your Kindle.
The Innocents Abroad is one of the few books in my collection that is available for sharing. But is is a free Kindle book in the first place, so you wouldn’t really need me to lend it to you if the most attractive aspect of the sharing feature was that you thought it could save you money.
But I guess if I had your email address, I had read the book, and I wanted to surprise you with it, this would be a way I could bring it to your attention. Then you could drop everything for 14 days and read it just to make me feel generous, I suppose.
I have other free Mark Twain books that are not available to lend. Ditto with the Tolstoy and Nietzche books I have on my Kindle. I have George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books, and they’re not available.
Allowing people to lend books has the potential to make publishers less money, so the likelihook of every book every being offered is highly unlikely. And I’m sure there are more reasons than I know, but I’m assuming that for most people interesting in loaning books, they’ve got saving money on their mind as well.
Finding lendable Kindle books
First, check your own Kindle library. You can’t loan something you haven’t downloaded.
The Amazon Kindle blog states that you can see whether a book is shareable from the title’s product page, but I don’t see that option on the product page unless I have downloaded it. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.
Goodreads Kindle Lending group
This is a cool idea. A group of people I think I’ll get along with well are pooling their resources on this sharing group. They can list which books they have to lend, and send requests to each other.
I was planning on starting something similar here before I saw that group, but I think they’re doing it as well as it can possibly be done, so I encourage you to check it out.
If any of you other Kindle users have tips, resources, or questions, please put them in the comments for others to find.
My own library is pretty small right now, but when it is larger I’ll be putting all of my lendable books up so that you can request them if you’re interested.
And if you would ever like me to review something and want to lend it to me, contact me and let me know.
How to loan a Kindle book and/or how to loan books on Kindle. Simple, easy, and hopefully there will be more books with the option soon.