Barnes and Noble’s Nook looks set to lose one of its major competitive edges in the booming e-reader market, with news Amazon’s Kindle will now also allow users to borrow library books on the popular devices.
Amazon recently added an aggressive price drop for users willing to be exposed to advertising on their Kindle devices, and library lending is one of most cited reasons many users say they’ve opted for the Nook over the Kindle. Lending privately owned e-tomes appears to be a mixed bag at the moment, with few titles available on Kindle for loaning to friends once they’ve been purchased. In a statement on Wednesday, Amazon announced in their standard self-aggrandizing way that the feature would finally become available to Kindle owners later in 2011:
“We’re excited that millions of Kindle customers will be able to borrow Kindle books from their local libraries,” said Jay Marine, Director, Amazon Kindle. “Customers tell us they love Kindle for its Pearl e-ink display that is easy to read even in bright sunlight, up to a month of battery life, and Whispersync technology that synchronizes notes, highlights and last page read between their Kindle and free Kindle apps.”
Marine glowingly continued about note-taking and highlighting features that copy over from borrowed copies to purchased copies:
“We’re doing a little something extra here,” Marine continued. “Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we’re extending our Whispersync technology so that you can highlight and add margin notes to Kindle books you check out from your local library. Your notes will not show up when the next patron checks out the book. But if you check out the book again, or subsequently buy it, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced.”
Amazon is partnering with OverDrive, a “leading provider of digital content solutions,” to bring the service to more than 11,000 public libraries later this year. If you haven’t yet bought a Kindle, will this feature finally sway you?