Amazon on Thursday launched an e-book lending service for owners of its Kindle devices, letting them borrow one digital book per month with no due date.
Amazon said Kindle owners with an annual Prime membership can choose from thousands of books to borrow for free, including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers. The online retail giant did not give an exact figure on the number of books of the new service.
According to the company, readers' notes, highlights and bookmarks in borrowed books will be saved, so they will have them later if they purchase or re-borrow the book. Customers can have one book out at a time and the borrowed book should be returned through the Kindle device when they want to borrow a new one.
In a press release, Amazon said it has reached agreement with publishers for a vast majority of titles for a fixed fee. But in some cases, Amazon is purchasing a title each time it is borrowed by a reader under standard wholesale terms.
An Amazon Prime membership costs 79.99 U.S. dollars a year in the United States and gives members free two-day shipping and free access to the company's video streaming service containing some 13, 000 TV shows and movies.
The new service is not compatible with smartphones, personal computers or tablet computers from other vendors running with Kindle apps, which makes Amazon's Kindle e-ink readers and its latest low-price tablet Kindle Fire more enticing to customers.
According to Amazon, the Kindle Fire, which is priced at 199 U. S. dollars, will be released on Nov. 15.