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You read that correctly. When you purchase certain eBooks for Kindle you can loan the book to a friend for them to read. Here’s a quick guide to the ins and outs of loaning a Kindle eBook.

First things first: not all eBooks can be loaned out. It’s up to the publisher or rights holder whether or not a book is to be made available for loan. The good news it’s easy to tell whether or not you can loan a book before you buy.

When you’re viewing Kindle eBooks on Amazon.com, you’ll notice in the product details that some books say “Lending: Enabled.” This denotes a book that the publisher or rights holder has authorized for lending. Each book can be lent by a buyer once, and there are no fees advertised with book lending.

Next, you needn’t worry about whether or not a person without a Kindle can read the book. Kindle eBooks can be read using reader applications for PC and Mac, as well as mobile devices such as iPads, iPhones, Blackberry devices, and Android capable phones. So, if you’re the only one of your friends who has caught onto the Kindle craze, worry not. You can still let your friend enjoy your digital copy of a great book.

Loaning a book is easy. You’ll log onto “Manage Your Kindle,” where you’ll find the book and click “Loan this book.” Then, all you need to do is enter the name and email address of the person you’re loaning the book to, along with a personal message.

The person has seven days to accept the loan, which will then last for 14 days. During this two-week period, you will not be able to read the book yourself. Three days prior to the termination of the loan period, the borrower will receive a reminder from Amazon. Then, when the loan period is completely passed, you will automatically have your access to the book restored.

If you’re one of those Kindle users who habitually makes notes and highlights within their eBooks, that’s OK too. All of those notes and highlights will remain when the loan period is over. And, your borrower will not be able to see them during the loan period.  Any friend or family member will be spared your crazy highlight style or mundane thoughts this time around.

If you’re a friend receiving an email about an eBook on loan, reading the book is easy as can be. Click the link in the email, and log in to your Amazon account (or create one if you’re not already a customer). Then, you select the device you would like the book downloaded to, and voila.

Even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can easily download a reader application for your Mac, PC or mobile device. You’ll have 14 days to read the book, after which the lender will automatically get back their viewing privileges.

That’s all there is to it!

One last note for international buyers: At present, books can only be loaned by buyers in the United States. If the receiver lives outside of the United States, the loan may not go through if the book is not available in their country. This is due to publishers’ varying geographical rights. Hope that doesn’t put a damper on your book lending plans.

Happy reading!

Article comments


I’ve been waiting for this feature! Book club is on!

I think the book lending is one of the best features of the Amazon Kindle. Thanks for the informative post.

Booklends says:

We’re creating a website, Booklends, that will make it easy for Kindle users to find and share books with each other. Visit booklends to sign up for our mailing list, and we’ll let you know when our site is finished (probably within a week or so)

Frank says:

Lending an eBook is not as easy as it sound and it didn’t work on a bunch of ebooks I own. I tried to lend a very simple new title and it wasn’t allowed because of “new” title status. I don’t get it, if we can buy a physical book at the store and then lend it to people to read, why can’t we lend our ebooks at will to other Kindle devices? it is OUR property! There isn’t really that much difference between lending a book only once and not lending it at all. That’s a good news. Sharing/ lending will not only reduce the cost but it will also encourage good reading habit. I’m glad they are adding this feature (hopefully). I think it makes a lot of sense. Except only being able to lend it to one person.

Jere Ivey says:

producing an electronic book is the relatively easy part, promoting it is where the substantial work is