Digital Lending On Your Kindle Or Nook

Welcome to Dear Jane, a weekly column based upon reader mailbag questions on anything relating to e-books. No question is too simple or too mundane. We are all learning together. Send your questions with "Dear Jane" in the subject matter.

Dear Jane: I must admit that I'm a little bit befuddled when it comes to the new lending policies that are available on e-readers. Can you tell me what I should know about them? - W.


Dear W:

On the Kindle 14 day lending period. The recipient has 7 days to accept the borrowed book and the 14 day lending period begins upon the acceptance. You can lend a book only once.

On the nook 14 day lending period. Lendee has one week to "open" or acknowledge receipt. Once opened, the 14 day clock for lending begins. More here from commenter Joy.

The problem is that few books are lendable. Of my 400+ Kindle books, only a handful are lendable. I hope this changes over time. The lending feature is so restrictive that I can't see it accounting for a lost sale and by offering lending, you are making a digital book have more value.

So how do you use digital lending? On the Kindle On the Kindle, there are a couple of places to discern whether a book is lendable. First, if you own the book and it is lendable, it says so on the top of the product page:

Screen shot 2011-01-04 at 9.36.33 AM


If you are thinking about purchasing, scroll toward the bottom where it lists the Product Details such as publisher, ISBN, File Size and the like.

Lending Enabled Kindle

To lend, you must go to MANAGE YOUR KINDLE page, and scroll to the YOUR ORDERS section. A listing of your purchases exist. There is a small + sign next to the title. Click on it and you will see an expanded information box. If your title is loanable, it will have a "Loan This Book" button:

Loan Book screenshot

As far as I can see, you can't lend via the Kindle device or any of the apps.

On the nook.

On the product page, look to the left of the cover to see if the book is lendable:

Lend Me nook product page

Lending on the nook is much simpler, you can lend directly from the device by going to the Library section of your device and touching "lend me". You then enter an email address and send. This works on the BN for PC app but not for the Mac or any of the BN Apps.

Lend from device nook

From your Account page, the lendable books have a small "Lend Me" icon underneath the product description. Clicking on that button leads you through a simple lending process.

Lend me icon nook


For more discussion about the Sony, please see RT's Reader Forum:  E-book Questions Answered Here.

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