On twitter I was asked about the likelihood of Amazon getting an Oyster-like feature (all you can read ebooks for a monthly fee.) I think the ‘all you can read’ system, like Oyster, has a pretty low chance of ever being offered on Amazon. But Amazon does have the Amazon Prime Lending Library. (Sometime referred to as the Kindle Lending Library or KLL).
Many people tried out the Kindle Lending Library when it was introduced and have ignored it since. When it started you could not search from a computer for Lending Library Books, and it only had about 5000 books to choose from.
Now there are more than 450,000 book, you can search from your computer (although still have to borrow from your kindle) and the quality of the books has gotten much better.
Here are a few hints and tips that has made the Lending Library easier for me to use.
1) Searching on the computer – it is still far easier to look for a book on your computer than looking on your kindle. You can see all of the Prime Eligible books from this link. From there click on the broad area you are interested in. For instance the 49,423 books in the Religion and Spirituality area. Many of these books have been offered for free. The biggest contributors to the library are independent authors. But there are a lot more than just independent authors.
2) Use a wishlist – once you find a book you want (or if you randomly see a book doing another search) save it in a wishlist that you just use for Prime Lending. I try to always keep at least 5 or 10 Lending Library books in a wishlist so that I do not have to scramble on the last day of the month.
3) Move the book to your prefered device – I prefer reading on my Kindle Paperwhite. But some people like to read on an iPad or iPhone. Once you borrow from your kindle, you can then download the book on your other devices.
4) Remember the Rules – The rules for the Lending Library are that you can borrow one book each calendar month. So if you borrow a book on the last day of the month. You can borrow a second one the next day, once you returned the previous book. I like to read series books relatively close together. So if I know I am going to read a series. Then I borrow the first book at the end of the month. Read it, return it, check out the next book. Also remember, there is no due date. So you do not have to return the book at the end of the month.
5) But what about the Authors? The authors still get paid. In fact authors of cheap or free books get more money from Amazon from people checking out their book than they do from people buying their book.
Here are some books that readers of Bookwi.se might be intersted in from the Prime Lending Library:
All the Harry Potter books, Five Love Languages, Winfield Bevins new introduction to The Book of Common Prayer, Francis Chan, Josh McDowell, Randy Alcorn, all of the Zion Chronicles by Brock and Bodie Thoene, The Hunger Games Trilogy, Richard Dawkins, Jared Diamond, Fast Food Nation, Michael Lewis’ The Big Short and Moneyball and others.