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Kindle users can 'borrow' an extra book - forever

That's not what 'library' and 'lend' mean, say publishers

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Amazon will lend Kindle owners a book every month as part of a new ebook borrowing scheme known as the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.

The digi-library will only be available to owners of a Kindle device who also subscribe to the £49-a-year Amazon Prime programme. It is not available via the Kindle apps for Android and iPad.

5,000 books are available for free lending, though the US's six main publishing houses have refused to take part, with publishing execs telling the WSJ that they feared digital lending would damage sales. Still, the selection on offer includes some bookshelf heavyweights including The God Delusion and New York Times bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Book borrowers can have only one library title at a time and are allowed a maximum of one per month. They can keep a book for as long as they like, but when they borrow a new title, the previously borrowed book automatically disappears from their device.

It's not a completely new system: iTunes lets you rent movies at a cheaper rate than buying them, allowing you to keep them for 24 or 48 hours once you've started watching them before they're deleted from the device. iPlayer downloads work in a similar way. But those services don't let you borrow something until you're bored with it - or forever, if you want.

We contacted Amazon to confirm whether the library system will apply to UK subscribers as well, but haven't heard back yet.®

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