Amazon bridged one of the biggest gaps between its Kindle and Barnes and Noble’s Nook by adding the capability for users to lend e-books beetween accounts for up to 14 days.
Arguably (or, in my opinion) the biggest drawback of e-books is the inability to borrow or lend titles you really enjoy. The unconverted will smugly point out that feature often after a lengthy soliloquy about the “feel” and “smell of books.” The new feature, of course, comes with the expected caveats that have been limiting digital data since its inception- artificial limits on use. You won’t be able to read your own books while they’re lent out, which isn’t too big of a drawback if you have more than a handful of titles. The less amenable non-value-add is that lending capability will be entirely up to publishers, who haven’t historically been very progressive when it comes to content sharing. (Or indeed, content access, as any fan of vampire books will tell you.)
Still, the move towards sharing adds a great, intuitive and long-needed feature to e-books and e-readers in general. Does the addition of book-sharing make you more likely to make the jump to e-readers or will you continue to cling to analog tomes?