Will publishers take note of the Kindle Lending Club?
One of the perks of the Amazon Kindle (not only the hardware, but the Kindle app available across several platforms) is the ability to loan books to other users. The service only launched in the US last month and there are some restrictions on which books can be lent, but overall it's a clever way to share digital property.
The service hasn't launched in the UK yet - Amazon are working out the kinks and bumps in the US first - but a site to watch for when Kindle loaning does reach Blighty, is the Kindle Lending Club. It was one of those good ideas that grew into a Facebook group and immediately exploded; you may not know many other Kindle users in your circle of friends, but the Kindle Lending Club lets you find other users with similar interests and borrow their books, while at the same time allowing you to lend your digital tomes to interested parties.
It's great news for consumers, but turning the Kindle into a free library probably isn't what Amazon - or the publishers - had in mind. Ultimately, it's publishers who control whether or not a title is made available for loaning; if the likes of Kindle Lending Club attracts too many users, it could become a victim of its own success, and publishers could withdraw loaning rights to protect sales.
Meanwhile, back in the world of dead trees, the printed word continues to take a beating. British Bookshops - a chain of 51 stores across the south of England employing 300 staff has gone into administration (thanks to avid Bitterwallet reader Jonny).