Amazon Kindle users can now lend e-books to friends

One of the major advantages Barnes and Noble's Nook e-reader offered over Amazon's Kindle was the ability to lend other users e-books that you had purchased. Today, Amazon closed that gap when it announced Kindle Book Lending.

Just like Barnes and Noble's Nook, Kindle users can now share certain books they have purchased with friends for a period of 14 days. From the "Manage Your Kindle" menu in your Amazon account, you can select "loan this book," and then enter the recipient's e-mail address and name. They do not have to own the Kindle hardware, and can read the book in any of the free Kindle applications. If one receives an e-mail alerting you that someone has loaned you a book, you have seven days to initiate the loan and start the 14 day loan period.

Not all Kindle books can be loaned to other users. A book's eligibility for sharing is determined by the publisher or rights holder, just like their ability to be endowed with text-to-speech. To find out if a book has lending enabled, you have to scroll to the product details section of a book's Amazon page, or from within your "Manage My Kindle" list of purchases.

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