So the other day Amazon introduced the ability to lend Kindle books. Unfortunately, you can’t (yet) do this from an actual Kindle device or app, but you must go to the area of Amazon’s site where you manage your Kindle, and do it from there.
The terms of lending, well, suck. First, the book must be eligible for lending (the publisher sets this). If it is eligible, it can only be lent out once. Ever. Also, the lending period is 14 days.
Ben Brooks makes an observation about the 14-day period, in that, it’s hard for an average person to finish a book in 14 days. (Aside: my wife is an exemption. She can read a rather large book in a couple days. I don’t know many folks that can do this, though.)
I have to echo Ben in that it takes me quite a while to finish a book. Usually between a month or two.
So, this got me thinking about the 14-day limit and the reasoning behind it. Scenario: you recommend a book to a friend, and, even though they could get a free sample from Amazon, that locks them into buying it if it is interesting. Instead, you “lend” it, and they think that is ideal because they may be able to read a whole book for free. But, 14 days is enough for them to get well into the book, but likely not finish it. By that time, they’re hooked, and end up buying the book anyway. Rinse. Repeat.
In a way, it’s sort of ingenious.