A major factor in the massive success of Amazon’s Kindle reader has definitely been the huge number of Kindle titles available for customers to choose from. Currently, Kindle owners can take their pick from more than 725,000 paid titles. There are also 1.8 million out of copyright books which can be downloaded to the Kindle free of charge.

Apart from making so much reading material available for Kindle users, Amazon has also made every effort to allow readers to enjoy Kindle books even if they don’t have a Kindle reader. This has been achieved by the release of a number of free Kindle apps which allow Kindle books to be read on a variety of different devices.

At the moment, free Kindle apps exist for the Windows PC, the Apple Mac, the iPhone, the iPad, the Blackberry smart phone and any device which runs Android. At first glance, it almost appears as if Amazon is setting up in competition to itself, but the truth of the matter is that each of these apps acts as a retail outlet for Kindle books.

The latest announcement from Amazon is that Kindle users will soon be able to “lend” each other Kindle books. Amazon has not confirmed the exact date – but it should start prior to the year end.

Users will have the possibility of lending Kindle books that they’ve enjoyed to their friends and family for a fortnight at a time. The “borrower” can read the book on their Kindle reader – just as if it was one of their own purchases. The original buyer won’t be able to access the book for the duration of the loan. Just like a real book in fact.

Some books will be incapable of being lent out. Whether or not a particular Kindle book can be lent will be decided by the publisher. It will be interesting to see how different publishing houses react to this.

Amazon has also confirmed that it will its current free Kindle apps will be extended to include newspapers and magazines as well as Kindle books. The Apple devices will be activated first, followed by desktop applications and Android devices.

Over the last year or so, the ebook reader and ebook market has really taken off. Although the ebook market is still developing and is in an early stage, the public already seems to have grown accustomed to ebooks. This latest development by Amazon brings ebooks even closer to the functionality of conventional books. Apart from marking the pages with a dog-ear, you can now do just about anything with an ebook that you would do with a conventional book. It’s a big step forward for ebook readers and ebooks readers which will help them to become even more widely accepted by the public.

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Filed under: Masonic Books Online

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