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Amazon to add "lending" feature to Kindle (amazon.com)
143 points by ajg1977 on Oct 22, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 85 comments



I recognize that I'm posting an article by Cracked here, but anybody who's a regular reader knows that Cracked hits the nail on the head at least 2% of the time. They recently had an article about the future and artificial scarcity (using a colorful acronym), and this is a perfect example.

You don't have to "lend" books, you can just make a digital copy and give it to your friend. Anything less than that is software and hardware that is purposely crippled in order to manufacture an artificial scarcity.

http://www.cracked.com/article_18817_5-reasons-future-will-b...

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#4 To Stay Afloat, Businesses Have to Pretend Unlimited Goods are Limited

A. Why can't the library just buy as many digital copies as are needed for the customers, and keep them forever, if they don't naturally degrade?

B. Wait a second. It's just a digital file. Why not just buy one copy, and just copy and paste it for every customer who wants to read it?

C. Wait a second. Why do you need the library at all? Why can't a customer just buy a copy from the publisher and "lend" copies to all of his friends?

D. Wait a second. If no printing and binding needs to be done, why do you need the publisher? Just buy it directly from the author.

E. Waaaaait a second. Why buy it? Once the author makes one copy available, why can't everyone just grab it for free?


F. Waaaaaaaaait a second. Why would the author write a book of which he can only sell 1 copy? There is no book.


Regardless of whether human creativity is intrinsically bound to economic reward (I would strongly argue that it isn't), the fact of the matter is that you can't make the case that what we're dealing with isn't a matter of artificial scarcity.


The true scarcity is the clever/creative author, which was previously monetized by selling less scarce physical artifacts of the author's work. This doesn't decrease the value of the author, however they are stuck finding another way to capitalize on their ability.

Software did it by putting software behind services, not allowing copies to be distributed to the end users. Perhaps authors can figure out something analogous.


If an author can't afford to put all their time towards writing a book though, because they no longer make any significant amount of money out them, wouldn't it be a net loss for society.

I agree that creativity isn't bound, but it will certainly happen less when a person who is exceptional doesn't have the opportunity to full devote themselves to their craft.


And what is the marginal cost of printing a book? The difference between burning a CD or printing a book and sending a digital file is often overblown. If it costs $1 to burn a CD that sells for $10 or $2 to print a book that sells for $25, 90%+ of the money is still paying for other things.

Publishers are not as dumb as the pirates think. The publishers just actually have seen the numbers and know that if you take out the cost of printing, you really haven't lowered the cost of the book very much. If you take out the cost of burning the CD, you really haven't lowered the cost to the record label very much. So why should they be expected to now evaporate 100% of their revenue becuase their cost drop 10 or 20 or 30 percent? That is nuts.


Almost everything sold today is by means of artificial scarcity ... do you think oil companies are happy with alternative fuels and hybrid diesels?

Related to book authors: they need a way to make a living writing books, at least part-time.

Also in a fair society, brilliant people should be rewarded accordingly.


>Regardless of whether human creativity is intrinsically bound to economic reward

"Reward" is the means to pursue your creativity. The ability for an author or a photographer or a painter or a musician to actually work on their trade instead of working menial jobs to try to support a hobby.

There was once a time in human history where creativity wasn't a meritocracy. It was an idle pursuit that the rich engaged in. Is that a better model?

>the fact of the matter is that you can't make the case that what we're dealing with isn't a matter of artificial scarcity

From a naive perspective, of course you can copy that floppy.

From a rational perspective, however, of course it deals with a real scarcity of creation that copyright seeks to prevent (just as patents attempt to prevent a scarcity of innovation, though the results are much more mixed).


G. Waaaaaaaaaaaait a second. People currently write books and software and distribute them free.


Out of the books I've read in the last 5 years, I believe the only ones that were free were those whose copyright had expired. Yes, there's lots of good free software, but that's most often because the software, once written, scratched an itch for someone. The same phenomenon doesn't really exist with books: nearly nobody writes books for themselves; we write books to share our knowledge, stories, and opinions with others.


The vast majority of books from academic presses are basically written for free. Even books that sell fairly well from relatively well-known presses like MIT Press make their authors very little money. They do it because publishing your book through MIT Press is a great way to get your ideas out there (and get paid indirectly in academic cred / CV lines). True to some extent with other nonfiction publishers too, e.g. I believe HN user lsc gets "paid" for his Xen book primarily in publicity driving sales to his VPS business, not because the royalties are something to live on.


I'm sure if you ask Jessica why she wrote founders at work, it was more about sharing knowledge than making money.


Yes, but that doesn't mean it's not at all about money or that she could have even feasibly done it if she didn't get paid at all.

For many people, while writing may not be their only job, they still need that part of their income.


It's almost impossible to make a living writing technical books, worse yet if they're actually good (because the best technical books tend to have a smaller audience since they tend to be targeted at the best developers).

Technical books aren't written because they are profitable, they are written out of passion or pride.

Edit: the same is true for a great many non-technical books. The average writer has a day job, writing is for most a questionably lucrative hobby.


The same phenomenon doesn't really exist with books

I would argue that a budding hobby novelist culture already exists, and will only grow, just like the free software movement did.

Heck, we're already seeing open source movies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_film


What do you do for a living?


I write software and give it away for free, how about you? :P

Also, there's a whole culture of free fiction on the internet. It's pretty huge, although most of it is crap, there are some real nuggets of goodness out there.

Of course, most of the stuff people charge for is crap, too.


> I write software and give it away for free, how about you?

For a living, eh? So do we presume you feed yourself with soup kitchens, and live in a cardboard box on the street?


Open source economic models have been pretty well established, no? My income is through payment for services, not software. My software may be free, but my labor is not.

The same is being applied to music, artists like Unwoman regularly write songs and albums on spec and through crowd-sourcing. A friend of mine is a huge fan, and donated money for her to write a song using a Voltairine DeClayre poem.

http://www.unwoman.com


My software may be free, but my labor is not.

In other words, your previous answer was a cutesy lie. You do not, in fact, earn a living giving away software. You earn a living getting people to pay you to to write software.

That you don't sell the software is irrelevant: you're still creating the software because there is money in doing so. What would the effect be on your creative output if nobody would pay you for it? How much software would you be writing if you had to crank widgets for a living instead? More? Less?


I stand by my original statement, and I think the tone of your response doesn't particularly invite debate on that point, but I do want to address this:

How much software would you be writing if you had to crank widgets for a living instead?

I've done pizza delivery, tech support, coffee barista, construction, and a bunch of jobs I barely even remember.

I was writing software while I was doing all of it.

My side project is Appleseed, which I've written in my spare time, which is tens of thousands of lines of code, and six years in the making, without any particular economic incentive. I've always worked whatever job I could to pay the bills, but no amount of poverty has ever stopped me from coding, at one point I had to sell my only computer to make rent, and managed to find someone who could lend me an older laptop so I could continue coding. And everything I've written is open source.

Writers, like programmers, and artists, and other creative people, create because they love to do it, because they'd rather do it for nothing, than not do it at all.


Dont' be ridiculous. For 3 of the last 4 years my sole income was from doing free software.

This is 100% spot on:

"In other words, your previous answer was a cutesy lie. You do not, in fact, earn a living giving away software. You earn a living getting people to pay you to to write software."

How can an author do that? There is absolutely no equivalence between the economic model around free software and the economic model around music and books. Free software makes money by giving it away to a lot of people, and getting money from the few people that need extra. Some people will pay for you to add a feature or provide support or make a change or put it under a different license or gaurentee uptime. Maybe the project matters so much to a person or group that they will pay someone to work full time on it. This is what makes FOSS go economically.

A book is a book for everyone. Once you have the book, what else could you need?

And to say that a side project and full time are the same thing is also ridiculous. I did a lot more coding on FOSS when I didn't have a 40-50 hour a week comittment to my FT job going on.


So what you do for a living is provide (consulting? programming?) services related to open-source software, not write free software.


I write free software for a living, because the result of my programming services are GPL licensed.


He can sell support contracts, documentation for it.


1. Speaking tours make money. Conferences make money, etc.

2. Fame, recognition, i.e. non-monetary benefits to being a good writer.

3. At least some people write because they believe what they have to say is important and/or helpful.

4. People will always want to own physical books. This is different than music or a dvd as a book can be passed-on/gifted much easier than a DVD or a CD, which will be obsolete.

I can see both arguments, but I'm definitely not worried about the possibility that people will stop writing books.


Speaking tours and the like make money if you're an established author, and it's about as likely as it is for your garage band to make millions on tour. Sure, it happens, but it's hardly a good career for the other 99.999% of folks who yearn to do that.


Agreed, but is it now possible get established relatively easier by simply writing a better book than the other guy? I mean the ease of distribution brings the harm of piracy but aren't there also some gains?

As examples, I'd offer both Why's poignant guide to Ruby and 2 pretty good books I've recently checked out, Learn Python the Hard Way & A Byte of Python.


> [Is] it now possible get established relatively easier by simply writing a better book than the other guy?

Sure, just like Britney Spears gets all her sales by having good music.

Writing a good book means little if you can't find a way to get lots of people to read it.


Well Britney is a good example but at the other end I'd offer something like Die Antwoord, who were able to get themselves a big record deal by simply putting their videos on youtube.

Or Justin Bieber, who also only exists because of the internet and youtube. I'm not saying Bieber makes good music, but he exists and thrives because of the internet, not despite it.


So if you have someone who is a great writer, they need to take time away from writing to do things that aren't writing, in order to make money?

If writing is something we value as a society, then there should be a good way for good writers to make money by writing, instead of having to find ancillary things they may not be particularly good at.


Demand payment and release the book one paragraph at a time.


Why do you say that people will always want to own physical books?


Because the book is an advertisement for whatever products he describes therein ("so they sat at the Au Bon Pain™, sipping Mochafrappalattes™ silently, watching each other"), and the advertisers pay per thousand books sold (CPM!), so the author wants to write well.


Ask for money, get money (or pledges), write book, distribute book.


"A. Why can't the library just buy as many digital copies as are needed for the customers, and keep them forever, if they don't naturally degrade?"

My local library offers assorted e-books. Every so often, when I've tried to request one, I was told I had to wait until someone else "returned" their copy.


It's not anything new. The whole point of copyright (and other intellectual property law) is to artificial limit unlimited goods. Copying has become cheaper with the digital age, but copying's been cheaper than buying monopoly copies for a long time. Why do you think libraries impose limits on how much you can photocopy out of a single book ?


"Planned scarcity" is the term. But I still think "lending" is a step forward to enable booking sharing, while preserving the incentive for writers to keep writing.

Needless to say Amazon will take a cut in this feature, perhaps some to the book publisher and author too. Kind of works out for everyone.


I think you're getting it confused with "planned obsolescence". The economic term actually is artificial scarcity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_scarcity

Although the acronym Cracked uses is most definitely not the scientific one.


You're looking in the wrong place to discover scarcity.

Copyright law is there to prevent real scarcity. Without copyright law there would be no big budget or little budget movies, little recorded music, few books, and on and on and on.

Sure, there will be a couple of beatniks who'll work night jobs as janitors to ply their trade, but the vast majority would abandon the effort.

The scarcity, minus the "artificial" scarcity, would be very real.


As long as the publishers have a say, this feature doesn't matter. Don't believe me? Look at the Nook. I've bought over 30 books on it, 2 of them have the LendMe feature.

For books I expect to share and re-read, I'm back to the physical copy. The only new ebooks I'm getting are the disposable fiction stories; which is probably the business model Amazon/BN have in mind and why we're still years away from a reasonable digital reader solution.


It's a feature list checkbox. Now Amazon can say they also have a lending feature, and the Nook loses that advantage.

The more important news, to me, is that they're now going to let you get subscribed magazines and newspapers in the kindle apps. Right now those only work with kindle hardware.


Why can't we model it like a real book? Even if they limit it to owner -> borrower -> owner, it'd be great to just not have time limits. A market will be created in any case.


I've never really understood this limitation. It doesn't exist for physical books (of which I've bought plenty), and it's the one thing that held me back from buying a Nook.


First - the publishers are profit maximizing, and they would prevent you from lending your physical books if they could. (In fact, they weren't big fans of Public Libraries when they first started springing up)

Second - The difference between a physical book and a eBook is that (A) you carry your _entire_ library with you all of the time and (B) your books are never lost/damaged.

I'm one of the 5% outliers who actually finds DRM encumbered eBooks (significantly) more useful than physical books - I never lose them, never have to move them, they never take up space, I never have to dispose of them, and can read them anywhere, any time.


Problem I have with that is that they may be more useful... right up until version X of some new reader comes out that, Oh I'm sorry, doesn't support the older DRM encumbered eBooks so you can just buy them again if you ever want a newer device. Not really a problem with physical books.


Paper books only come on the original device and can't be upgraded for free as printing technology improves. No backup. I'm pretty sure most tablets (and many phones) that emerge in the next year will have a Kindle app.


I would assume the thinking behind time limits is that a compromised Nook or Amazon account could be used to buy a crapload of books and then lend them out permanently.

Doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense, because they presumably know who you've lent them to.

Then again, non-limited lending raises other issues. How do you get it back? Do you allow the purchaser to forcibly take it back, removing it from the borrower's device? That sucks for the borrower. But that also requires that the device be connected to the web at some point; if the borrower only uses USB to load the device, the loaned item can't be snatched away.

Time limits, that don't rely on connectivity, are probably the simplest solution.


I don't think the lend feature is going to work "offline", i.e. without participation of Amazon. So Amazon would have a full control over who has lend, what books and to which people. So they can easily deauthorize them.

But that wouldn't work if there were no time limit at all - you could lend a book and disable all wireless connectivity. So why not make Kindle users who have lent book reauthorize every 14 days with Amazon's servers to extend the lease.. Sure, some people would abuse this system but it's not like you can't download more and more ebooks from various not-so-legal places anyway.

But then the whole thing is useless - seriously, I can lend some books, for two weeks and only once? No, thanks.


I think there's another more obvious outcome. Unlimitted lending of digital content has a lower physical restriction barrier. A secondary marketplace could easily spring up matching people with licenses to those without.


Because the current model makes them more money? If you can't sell your eBook to your neighbor then your neighbor will (probably) buy it for full eBook price. Boom two sales.

(Hey I don't believe it'll work, it's only what I think the publisher execs are thinking.)


It'd be a pain in the ass trying to get your book back?


More of a pain than with physical books? I've lost books I've lent... real bummer but it happens.


The main problem that I have with the Kindle is not the lack of lending. What I want more than anything for the Kindle is support for ePub books, including DRMed ePubs.

The Kindle would be enormously useful to me if I could navigate to my library's website, check out an eBook, and read it right on my Kindle.


If your library is anything like mine, supporting it would mean that Amazon would have to add support for Adobe's "Digital Editions" DRM scheme- which strikes me as somewhat unlikely, unfortunately (and by "somewhat unlikely", I mean that I'll be able to write a Duke Nukem' Forever review using TextMate 2 long before the Kindle supports ADE).

This was actually a (small) part of my thinking when I was trying to decide whether and which eBook reader to get. I ended up going with one of the new Sony models, in part because I knew it would work with my library's eBook system.

For whatever it's worth, though, breaking Adobe's DRM is trivial, as is converting the resulting unencrypted ePub file to a MOBI file, which, if I'm not mistaken, can be read on a Kindle. Your personal legal or moral mileage may vary, but from a technical standpoint it's pretty easy.


Amazon could always come up with their own system for libraries to lend kindle books.

Which would probably make a lot of sense at this point, given all the free reader apps they provide on various devices.

Hell, the system could be pretty sweet. Look up a book at Amazon, and Amazon could determine your local library system based on your address, check the ebook 'inventory' of that library, and if a copy is available, offer a library loan as an option. You wouldn't even have to go to the library website.


My kingdom for proper ePub support!


Yeah, but Amazon wants to make the Kindle enormously useful to go to their web site and buy books from them.


Most of my personal library is comprised of books I was given free or bought used in the $.50 - $6.00 range. On average I've read about 20% of each. What I can't get around with the Kindle is the idea of paying $10 for a digital copy of something I could find either for free or really cheap, that I probably won't even read anyway. Not to mention you can't give away or sell a copy of a kindle book to someone else after you're done.

Oddly enough though I don't have the same gripe with the apple App Store...


One wonders then why you do not resent the iTunes store. After all, you can get vinyls and cassette tapes for next to nothing at thrift stores these days.


I do, kinda. Lets just say that I haven't paid for music in quite some time.. and when I did it was always CDs, I've bought maybe one album digitally.

Its not the idea of paying that bothers me so much as the price point. I know damn well there's nowhere near the overhead costs to digital distribution that there are to printing, publishing and retail, why am I only getting a $5.00 discount? Popular digital books and MP3 albums could cost $2 and still be profitable...

Not to mention that I can't resell or exchange the digital copies like I could physical media, so there's no longterm value. If you consume as much media as I do you'll quickly go broke if you were to pay what they wanted, and not be able to at least recoup some of the value in tradeins.

$9.00+ for digital DRMed media is a total ripoff.


> "I know damn well there's nowhere near the overhead costs to digital distribution that there are to printing, publishing and retail"

I dislike this argument - it assumes that products ought to be priced according to their cost of production, which is patently false in reality. The price of a product is whatever the market will bear.

Does this means MP3s aren't overpriced? Nope. The monopolistic cartel-like behavior of the labels does seem to prevent the market from reaching a natural equilibrium price for music; that being said, the notion that digital things should be almost-free because they're almost-free to produce IMHO is BS.

> "$9.00+ for digital DRMed media is a total ripoff."

None of the major digital music stores have been DRMed for a long time. Both iTunes and Amazon MP3 are DRM free, and in fact the only real place you'll find DRM on music these days is the Zune Store - but that's more because you're on a all-you-can-listen subscription plan, there's no confusion about whether or not you own your files.


The Zune store also sells straight-up, no DRM mp3s for about the same price Amazon does.


With the price fixing the only competition in town is priced at free. Therefore the market should bear somewhere between $10 and free. But not $10. Its still a ripoff no matter what way you shake it. Competitively, paying to download something is purely for the convenience of not having to hunt down a free copy. So I'm paying not for the music, but the ease of downloading it instantly. And thats not worth $10 to me.

(Ok, so the music you buy doesn't have DRM, that is true. But its still worth absolutely nothing after you download it...)


There are two flaws in your argument. First, the price is no longer fixed, Apple took care of that. Granted, Amazon didn't give that option before, but they do now. Second, the market obviously would bear $10, which is why the Amazon Kindle store took off as it did. If the market wouldn't bear it, people would not have bought the Kindle and the books. Remember, Capitalism doesn't care what the fair price is, but what people are willing to pay.


> I know damn well there's nowhere near the overhead costs to digital distribution that there are to printing, publishing and retail, why am I only getting a $5.00 discount?

This isn't exactly true. Most of the 'overhead' of a CD isn't physical production, it's record labels. They give a band a lump of money to sign on, and then they bill the band at every opportunity. They charge you to use a recording studio, they charge you to hire a producer to make it sound the way they want, they charge you to hire an artist to do your covert art, they charge you to do the music video, etc. Once it's all done, they handle all the distribution as well, which has become relatively cheap thanks to economies of scale.

This is the same reason studios have always been against digital distribution. Once people realize how easy things can be, they'll realize that they, as an institution, are far less valuable. You don't need to get airplay on the radio if you can preview every song in an album, lend music to your friends wirelessly, etc.

The price of digital goods won't come down until we eliminate the actual overhead - the profiteering middlemen.


"Popular digital books and MP3 albums could cost $2 and still be profitable..."

Reproduction is a very small part of the cost of a book or album, as a share of the per-item price.


It would be nice if all the interested parties could come up with a solution that involved public lending libraries.

If all print books were to (for the sake of argument) completely vanish right now, I'm afraid that we'd find ourselves in a world where books were less generally accessible, not more generally accessible. Given the relative ease of ebook reproduction and distribution, this strikes me as the reverse of the way things ought to be.


>Each book can be lent once for a loan period of 14-days...

Only once? People won't enjoy that.


Little steps and all that. I know it comes as a shock to a lot of the internet generation but most business have a hell of a hard time changing their business model and surviving it, the bigger the company the harder it becomes as with everything in life.

This is a little step but it is down the right path. As much as we would all love to have the same abilities as we do with physical copies of books going the full wack of unlimited lending for unlimited timeframes is most likely too big of a shock for publishers to deal with. Hell we don't even have a legal way to do this with iTunes, Amazon MP3, and other online media services (at least not that I am aware of? please correct me if I am wrong, note I said legal, technically it is possible as there is no DRM but legally there is no way, it could be argued this is true for physical media too due to the "license" on the inside of the CD, DVD, or whatever it is you bought but no court would ever actually follow thru on that however sharing MP3s online doesn't get the same treatment, go figure).

Anyway back to my point, I am pretty sure in time limitations will be lifted, maybe not to the same as you get with physical media but pretty close. One thing that is the same, if you lend a friend a book you certainly can't keep reading! It would have been pretty cool (and a much bigger deal IMHO) if the publishers used this as a marketing tool for word of mouth advertising by letting you "lend" the book to a friend while you can still read it but limit the lending limit to 14 days (or N number of chapters, which is better in IMHO as people read at different speeds, only at the weekends, etc. Time limits are a pain in the ass whereas content limits make it a lot more user friendly, at least to me it does, it is also much easier to manage, no clever ways to check when it has been 14 days (dealing with users who never connect to wifi and just set the date back, etc), no hacks to have to patch in the next firmware update, etc. just lend the friend 50% of the book, not 100% but with a digital lock around it that will be broken before even 1% of the user base upgrades their firmware) That way they can probably exploit the "omg I just got this amazing book you should sooo buy it" factor when someone first gets a book but hasn't finished it yet so won't lend it to a friend, then they forget or it is crap and they just dump it in a book store and the publisher never gets to sell that friend a copy.

Just my 2c


> Second, later this year, we will be introducing lending for Kindle, a new feature that lets you loan your Kindle books to other Kindle device or Kindle app users. Each book can be lent once for a loan period of 14-days and the lender cannot read the book during the loan period.

Hmm, I'm currently Reading Steven King's "Under the dome" I'm about half way through and it's been 14 days. I'm not sure this will be all that useful.


You might not even get that far. Since it's left to the publishers to decide if the book is lendable, expect many best-sellers not to be.

Assuming the book could be re-lent to an individual after the first 14-day period has expired and can be returned early without penalties I think this is pretty good. Two weeks is a nice break-even point for shorter works and massive novels.

Now I can recommend the kindle to friends and family without losing the ability to lend them some of the book I've purchased and would like to share.


I'm guessing there will be some kind of prompt along the lines of "Your load period for this book has expired. If you would like to continue reading, please select the 'purchase now' button below."


I forget - can we still read bedtime stories to children or is that an un-authorised use?


Sure you can, but only once per story.


Sounds ripe for a marketplace where people can offer to and request lending from other users.


ah! I was thinking the same :) thisbookwillselfdistructin15days.com seems free ;)


Lending ebooks is a feature demanded mostly by people who don't pay money for ebooks (and don't pay money for movies, music, or videogames if they can possibly avoid it) and will not be induced to pay money by the feature.


This is patently false. My girlfriend owns a Kindle, she buys books at a very good rate (among other media), and she wants to be able to lend her ebooks.

Lending books is part of book culture! I don't own a Kindle yet specifically because half the reason I buy books is to lend or give them to friends. Sharing books is one of the greatest joys of reading. Everyone who shares is not a pirate.

I generally agree with you that people who complain about media costing money are not useful as customers. But there is a world of difference between not wanting to pay and wanting to be able to lend and give what you buy.


I agree with patio11 but with a caveat: lending, in the way it is to be implemented on the Kindle, and is already implemented on the Nook, is a feature demanded by pirates more than customers.

Why? Because books can only be lent once. Ever.

This makes the feature almost useless for legitimate consumers, but for non-DRMed files (on the Nook anyways) the lending feature is non-crippled, and (rightly) can occur as many times as the user pleases.

Personally I think it's a load of crap that the lending feature is crippled in such a way, but the fact of the matter is, the only people happy with the existing way lending works are the people who aren't encumbered by it - i.e., the people who never actually deal in purchased/DRMed ebook material.


Sounds right to me. Do you have any evidence that this is true or does it just sound right?


We were going to offer this at Fifobooks.com.

In fact, we were going to offer a feature whereby any ebook you bought on any device could be made to work on any other device.

Unfortunately, we found out from a legal review that the DMCA makes that a criminal offense (we thought we would be covered by a consumer's right to make personal archival copies of media they'd purchased, but that common-sense right is not part of the DMCA).

Anyway, the lend feature is really a step behind what AMZ should be doing: portability of ebooks from device to device.


Non-technical friends were impressed by my Kindle but it was hard to explain not being able to lend books. However, the restrictions sound like they're designed to make the recipient end up buying the book, rather than really facilitate the type of lending people will expect.


I wish Amazon would adopt the Netflix model for books. I'd certainly sign up for that.


Unlike movies, books can't be read within a 90 minute time frame. I can't see Amazon introducing an unlimited eBook model.




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