Since I've been living under a big rock called "Pre-Book Country Launch" for the past week, I just heard news of Amazon's recent foray in the library world. And I kind of wish I hadn't.
I like Amazon for its ease of shopping and quick delivery. I don't like Amazon for its requirement of proprietary DRM on Kindle and the way its trying to monopolize that aspect of the industry. I had thought I was going to give Amazon another "pro" on my little pro-con list when I first got word of the lending library endeavor. But then I kept listening.
I expected the Kindle Lending Library to be much like the Nook's Lend Me feature, something which I haven't gotten to experiment with yet given none of my friends have Nooks (that I know of, at least!). But the concept is brilliant. I'd love to be able to share eBooks with friends, just as I do with print books. It's one of my favorite ways to spread the love.
But much to my dismay, the Kindle Lending Library is only available to Amazon Prime members. Which means, there's an approximately 80-dollar price tag on that sucker. And that's not all: members can only borrow one book per month. So, really, you aren't borrowing an e-book at all. You're paying over $6.50 to read an e-book that you can't even keep.
Sure, a Prime membership gets you other features like deals on shipping from Amazon, etc., but for users who strictly wanted to partake in the library? It's no longer an option. For those readers, it makes more sense just to purchase the e-book and then have it at their fingertips to read whenever they want.