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Lending Books: A Thing of the Past?

3 March 2010 1,161 views One Comment

With the advent of eBooks and devices like the Kindle and soon the iPad, the whole concept of lending and borrowing books could soon become a thing of the past. The basic problem we have is that there is no way we can lend our eBooks, at this point. You have to lend the device, which is not very ideal.

There have been speculations about applications being built for libraries to manage the number of copies of a given eBook. This is definitely possible with today’s technology – but there is still no solution for individual consumers to lend the ebooks that they have bought.

While this is definitely a limitation from the end user’s perspective, this might turn out to be a huge plus for booksellers. Given the fact that the prices of ebooks would make it more attractive to own an eBook rather than just borrow it, and with any added pain in the process of borrowing, the consumer might just decide to go ahead and buy the eBook. Its definitely not a win-win, but lending books might soon become a thing of the past.

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One Comment »

  • Vern Stevens said:

    For many this is a non-issue. Some people are not concerned with whether or not their books can be lent. But then, if a few people (say a family) shares an iTunes account, I don’t see why it is inconceivable that the content on one account cannot be shared by the allowable number of devices linked to that account. In that respect, while sharing is still restricted, it is not necessarily impractical.

    If the ability to lend a book is a primary motivator in one’s media selection, they best stick to physical books until (if it happens at all) a digital solution is realized.

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