Kindle Owners Lending Library – Free Kindle Books!

by on November 7, 2011 · 46 comments

Last week, Amazon launched Kindle Owners Lending Library, a feature that could make your holiday shopping faster and cheaper!

Kindle Lending Features

With this service, Kindle owners who are members of Amazon Prime can borrow one book a month on their Kindles for free. There is no time limit on when the book has to be returned, but you can only borrow one book at a time.

The selection of books is impressive, with 5156 Kindle books available, including many best sellers.

How to Borrow a Kindle Book

To be able to borrow books for free, you must own a Kindle and be a member of Amazon Prime. The service does not work with Kindle apps. You borrow a book from your Kindle, you can’t borrow it from the website and send it to your Kindle.

To borrow a book, go to your Kindle, and press Menu => Shop in Kindle Store. Under Browse, click on See All and scroll down to Kindle Owners Lending Library.

Amazon Prime Features

Amazon Prime is $79 a year and gives you benefits in addition to the Lending Library including free two-day shipping (no minimum purchase required) and access to free Instant Videos, Amazon’s library of streaming movies and tv shows. Amazon offers a 30 day trial membership to Prime so you can try it out.

With the holidays approaching, consider signing up for a free 30 day trial of Amazon Prime so you can get free two-day shipping for all of your gifts. You can get a free book for your Kindle, watch free movies and tv, and have your gifts delivered in two days for free!

If you consider each Kindle book costs an average of $10 and you get one book a month for free, you could save $120 by using this service in a year, more than enough to cover the $79 price of an Amazon Prime membership.

If you have a Kindle, does this make you want to sign up for Amazon Prime to get free Kindle books? If you are a Prime member, does this make you want to get a Kindle? If you have neither, are you enticed to get both? Let us know in the Comments section below!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Jens P. Berget
Twitter:
November 7, 2011 at 8:53 am

Hi Carolyn,

This sounds like an awesome deal. I’m just wondering, do you know if Amazon Prime is available outside the US? Every time I see a new brilliant service, I can’t get access to it because I live in Norway :-)
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 7, 2011 at 9:00 am

Hi Jens, Great question. The main benefit of Amazon Prime used to be that you got free two day shipping within the US with no minimum purchase. Then Amazon last year added free Instant Video streaming. Neither of these would benefit someone outside the US.

But with the addition of Kindle Owners Lending Library, you may find it worthwhile to sign up for Amazon Prime just to save money on Kindle books. I suggest you sign up for a 30 day free trial membership to Amazon Prime to get a free Kindle book and see if you like the selection of free Kindle books that qualify for the Kindle Owners Lending Library (the selection is quite impressive).

If you find enough free Kindle books to save you money with Amazon Prime, then it would be worth it to you to sign up for a Prime membership.

Happy reading!
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Jens P. Berget
Twitter:
November 7, 2011 at 9:19 am

Thank you Carolyn. I might have to try it.

I have actually bought a “regular” book, the first one since I bought the Kindle. The book is the Steve Jobs biography. I just had to have this as a regular book, because of the pictures and I want it on my bookshelf in order to read in it once in a while (for inspiration).

I have been thinking about the Kinde Fire and watching videos, but wouldn’t I get access to all the movies with Amazon Prime if I live in Norway?
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Ashvini
Twitter:
November 7, 2011 at 8:57 am

Hi Carolyn,

I am back from vacation and surely to say I was missing all the action from your blog :-) .

I am really amazed by the way Amazon.com is increasing the entry barrier for others. They have been pioneering one concept after another. I think they have a clear cut idea that books are their mainstay and they are doing everything to improve their lead on others( is there any other kindle like device ?) I dont know.

The lending service is a another great addition to their arsenal . I think the next in their weaponry maybe a giant collection of open (royalty free books) if they are not offering them right now.
It is just superb to read all the information in your post. No matter I missed it so much.

Have a great day :-) and thanks
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 7, 2011 at 9:07 am

Hi Ashvini, Welcome back! I hope you had a restful vacation!

You’re right, Amazon keeps improving their offerings, especially with Amazon Prime. They are giving more and more benefits to Prime customers, making it more enticing to sign up. Once you’re a Prime member, you’r much more likely to purchase from Amazon because where else are you going to get free two day shipping with no minimum purchase?

I’m wondering what else they will offer to improve the Prime membership benefits.

Thanks for stopping by post-vacation, Ashvini. The Wonder of Tech is always honored to have a Kindle author comment here! So you want to be an entrepreneur? (Become a successful entrepreneur)
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Ashvini
Twitter:
November 7, 2011 at 10:42 am

Hi Carolyn,

Thanks for mentioning my book above. I really appreciate it .

I have put some pics on FB, the beautiful parts of New Delhi. Hope you like them :-) .

Best regards,
Ashvini
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 7, 2011 at 9:55 pm

I will definitely check those pics out. Thanks for sharing them, Ashvini!
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Mike Maynard November 7, 2011 at 9:27 am

Hi Carolyn,

Good news I made the top 12 of the photographic contest. My ‘enchanted’ photograph is to be exhibited. I could even win a new camera! More photographs in tomorrow’s blog – buildings…
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 7, 2011 at 10:23 am

Hi Mike, That’s great news, but I’m thinking you’re #1! I absolutely love your Enchanted photo, it is truly art in my mind. I hope the judges agree!

Best of luck with the contest and do keep us posted. :-)
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Carrie Hanlon November 7, 2011 at 9:44 am

Hi Carolyn –

As always, great work with the blog!

Do you know whether the lending library is exclusive to the US? I know we can subscribe to Amazon Prime in the UK, but I also know that owner to owner lending is currently limited to the US only. (My Kindle is registered in the UK, although I may change soon.)

Thanks,
Carrie

Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 7, 2011 at 10:21 am

Hi Carrie, Thanks, I’m glad you are enjoying the blog!

As of now, this feature is only available in the US, not in the UK. You can only register your Kindle in one country at a time. So if you re-register your Kindle with a US account, your UK books may disappear from your Kindle. They will still be available in your UK account, so you could always go back and re-register your Kindle to Amazon UK to get the UK books back on your Kindle. But it’s not very easy to switch back and forth.
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Adrienne
Twitter:
November 7, 2011 at 10:54 am

That is a great addition to an already cool service.

I bet all those Kindle lovers are going to take advantage of this. I mean this would come in handy for those who aren’t always prone to read a book over and over again. I know that I don’t. Which is why I pass mine around so others can enjoy them too.

As always, up on the latest news.. Thanks Carolyn for sharing this.

~Adrienne
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 7, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Hi Adrienne, Good point, though there is no due date for returning a book so someone could read a book as many times as they wanted, without worry. Or they could borrow it again at a later time so long as they are an Amazon Prime member.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving an awesome comment, Adrienne!
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iRewardChart
Twitter:
November 7, 2011 at 11:10 am

Lovely ….
Amazon is making it irresistible for people to join its ecosystem. Come December, a LOT of folks are going to be seen around with Kindle Fire. And since they can get HD movies free on Kindle, they will get Prime, and since they have Prime, they will order everything from Amazon…. Its all part of the big plan of getting us sucked into Amazonian forest….

Good plan though, coz its value for $$.

iRewardChart
Twitter:
November 7, 2011 at 11:13 am

And btw, Amazon is now officially leading the price war. Today B&N announced the price of Nook (at Best Buy) for $200. This is going to set a new benchmark. Now Samsung, and one zillion of other Android tablet makers must be worried, very worried.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Hi iRewardChart, I read reports that the Nook tablet will be $250, $50 more expensive than the Kindle Fire. The Nook has better specs (1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage), but the Fire has better access to content with Instant Videos and free Kindle books for Prime members.

Most people will be electing the Fire, I imagine, over the Nook. But the holiday season will be a strong indication of which device will become the Android tablet leader.

You’re right, other Android tablet makers have a challenge competing on price and features!
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 7, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Oops. I believe you were referring to the price drop at Best Buy for the Nook Color reader and I was referring to the price of the newly announced Nook tablet. Sorry!
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 7, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Hi iRewardChart, Congratulations on getting 1000 followers on Facebook! Way to go!

I like your comment about getting sucked into the Amazon forest. It’s true, as an Amazon Prime member I’m much more likely to buy from Amazon due to the free two day shipping. I don’t know how other competitors will be successful against them.

And you’re right, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, it makes sense to get a Kindle tablet or a Kindle Fire.

The process does seem like a whirlpool doesn’t it?
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Janet Callaway
Twitter:
November 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Carolyn, aloha. So, tell me the truth. Were you dazzled and amazed that I actually knew about this before you told me? This is a first that I knew about something in your realm before you wrote about it.

Carolyn, to me this makes so much sense. People who don’t want to buy a Kindle, should download an app on to their computer to take advantage of this.

Amazon Rocks! You Rock! Best wishes for a magnificent week ahead. Aloha. Janet
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 7, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Hi Janet, Yes, I am very impressed that you knew about Kindle Owners Lending Library. The feature is fantastic, in fact I’m thinking of giving an Amazon Prime membership to someone who has a Kindle because it would be like giving him 12 free books, plus free shipping and videos. Very cool.

You should be aware, though, that the lending feature I described in this article only works on Kindle devices, not on other devices through the Kindle app. I’m thinking Amazon really wants you to buy a Kindle!

I hope you have a magnificent week too, Janet! :-)
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Ruth - The Freelance Writing Blog November 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Hey Carolyn – had trouble posting a comment earlier, so if this gets posted twice, my apologies.

Yet another reason to buy a Kindle! Though Jens comment has me a bit concerned (as a Canadian) that perhaps it wouldn’t be worth it to purchase this ‘membership’ upgrade. I’m still feeling drawn to the Kobo – I should explore whether or not they offer a similar option.

Oh – and Carolyn – if you read my most recent post…I need you to find me an online (and ideally free) version of Mahjong! I’m addicted!!!
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Hi Ruth, I’m sorry you have difficulty commenting. Let me know if you have this trouble again.

Does Amazon have Prime membership in Canada? If so, I hope they extend this service to Canada soon because it really is a great deal!

No worries about the Mahjong, I have you covered. I wrote a guest post in July on Search Engine People called: Sinful: 10 Games You Can Play During WorkCarolyn Nicander Mohr recently published this awesome post..TuneIn: Your Ideal Radio?My Profile

Bill Dorman November 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Well poot; so the app on my computer won’t let me play, huh? I guess I better go sell some more insurance so I can buy one…..

I like it though, what a great way to read some books for ‘free’.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 7, 2011 at 8:53 pm

Hi Bill, Yes the list of books included in this deal is impressive. Books you might want to read as opposed to obscure books no one ever heard of.

If you head to Oklahoma, I’m thinking you could sell a lot of earthquake insurance now. I’m just sayin’… ;-)
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Harleena Singh
Twitter:
November 8, 2011 at 12:46 am

Wow Carolyn!

This sure seems a good reason to go in for Kindle! I had been debating about it as my kids love to read and this is one of the things that would add more value to Kindle.However, I do wonder if this would be valid and work at our end as well.

Thanks so much for sharing and letting us all know about it :-)
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 8, 2011 at 9:41 am

Hi Harleena, You’re right, Amazon is giving us more and more reasons to use their site, buy their ereaders and upgrade to Amazon Prime. This added benefit makes both Amazon Prime and the Kindle more desirable.

Two of my daughters love their Kindle ereaders. The third says she doesn’t want one, but I think that may be because she’s holding out for an iPad (she’s not going to get one).
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ssrijan November 8, 2011 at 2:59 am

Hi Carolyn,

Great features for Kindle users. And i got a reason to get my first Kindle to o:-)

But for now Kindle book lending can only be initiated by customers residing in the United States. The reason I guess could be publisher geographical limits.

For the next blog, i can suggest you a topic “Kindle Fire” launching on 15th Nov for $199.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 8, 2011 at 9:46 am

Hi ssrijan, The Kindle book lending is for those who have a US Amazon account, whether they reside in the US or not. When I lived in the UK, I registered my Kindle to my US account even though I didn’t live there.

Thanks for the topic suggestion, ssrijan. I plan on writing more about the Fire after it launches next week. The Fire is a very exciting development in the tablet market!
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Gabriella November 8, 2011 at 5:02 am

This is so great! One can borrow a book…..what do they not think of. Thanks a bunch for telling us about this :-)

So I see it is all in the States though? What a pity :-(
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 8, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Hi Gabriella, I understand your frustration. When I lived in the UK until last year, I was very frustrated at the tech that wasn’t available outside the US. I hope that Amazon expands their offerings worldwide as the demand is certainly there!
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Mouh November 8, 2011 at 6:41 am

Great service from Amazon! I really wonder how these guys come up with useful ideas. Kindle users will surely benefit from it. I am not one of them. :D I don’t have one yet.

Great graphics, Carolyn. :D You only used one arrow before and now banners! That’s just great! :D
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 8, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Hi Mouh, Yes, Amazon Prime is certainly a great service that just keeps getting better.

I’m so glad you like how I used your graphics, Mouh. For anyone else who likes the banners I used above, please check out Mouh’s awesome blog: http://blog.effortlessebookwriting.com/here-are-all-the-graphics-i-offer-for-free/ Definitely worth checking out!
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Faran November 8, 2011 at 9:47 am

now this is certainly great to hear. I was looking forward to buy an ereader, but now I am even a step closer to doing that.
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 8, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Hi Faran, That’s great that this feature brings you closer to getting an ereader. It will be interesting to see if Barnes & Noble matches this offer with their Nook ereaders.
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Laura E. Pence November 8, 2011 at 7:05 pm

That sounded really awesome- right up until you got to the part about having to actually own a Kindle. Why would I want one of those when I have an iPad? I love the Kindle app, but no way do I want an “extra” device.

Too bad, too, because I’m an avid reader and an Amazon Prime member…
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 9, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Hi Laura, Welcome to The Wonder of Tech! Great question. I have both an iPad and a Kindle and I really appreciate having both. My Kindle has e-ink so I don’t have any eye strain when I read on it. I can read in the sunlight on my Kindle, so I take it to the beach or by the pool (which I wouldn’t do with my iPad).

The Kindle is a dedicated ereader so when I am reading it, I’m not distracted. When I read from my Kindle app on my iPad, I end up checking my email, Twitter, Facebook, etc. and forget to get back to my book.

With my Kindle, I have free 3G service worldwide so I can download a book for free no matter what country I’m in.

My Kindle is smaller and more portable so it’s easier to carry around.

Someone compared an iPad to a Swiss Army Knife and a Kindle to a spoon. You may have a spoon on your Swiss Army Knife, but that doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from a having a separate spoon.

If you are an avid reader and an Amazon Prime member, you might consider trying a Kindle. If you have a friend who can lend you one, you could check it out and see if you like the reading experience more on her Kindle enough to justify getting another device.

Thanks for stopping by, Laura!
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Laura E. Pence November 9, 2011 at 1:16 pm

My dad has a Kindle and I took a look at it today. I know that there are several different models to choose from and I haven’t checked them all out, but I wasn’t impressed.

I like several readers on my iPad including: nook, Kindle, Stanza, Google Books and PDF Reader. I also have Newsstand and a plethora of industry magazine subscriptions like MacUser, MacFormat, etc. I like having the option to buy wherever I find what I’m looking for and have the option of reading from where I left off without interruption on my iPad, iPhone, MacBook or iMac.

I was so happy with the portability of my iPad and that I can carry a much smaller purse now (as compared to my laptop bag) that I hadn’t considered it to be bulky. After looking at the screen size and amount of text on the Kindle screen I’ve decided that it just wouldn’t do for me. I’ve been spoiled I guess. And if you can’t tell from my comment, lol, an Apple lover. I’ve heard that the display is easier on the eyes, but I’ve never noticed any issue with readability on the iPad. The only adjustment I made for the beach was to add an Otterbox to keep sand and water away from my goodies.

I haven’t had trouble with keeping on task while reading, but I switch to airport mode to keep pop-up messages from interrupting and drawing my attention away. The only trick for that is that I have to remember to switch back on when I’m finished reading or I won’t get notifications. I have a bigger problem with putting my “book” down; I get totally engrossed and can lose hours if I’m not careful!

The Amazon lending program is amazing idea and I’m sure that it will do really well. I guess it turns out that I would rather pay for my books at this point than give up reading on my favorite device, but I’m probably not in the majority. My dad is super excited about the lending program, since he loves his Kindle and is also a Prime member. He has everything else Apple, so I was surprised at his choice, but the low cost drew him in and this lending program will keep him actively using his Kindle (very clever, Amazon). Now the only question is which way my mom will go!

Your article has started my whole family talking about it! :-)
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Hi Laura, That’s great that you love reading on your iPad. Wonderful idea to put your iPad in Airplane Mode when you’re reading to avoid the notifications. That would really help with distractions.

Do you share a Kindle account with your parents or do you have your own?

I used to have multiple ebooks on multiple accounts. I used Fictionwise a lot before the Kindle came out. But now I get my ebooks on my Kindle account exclusively so I don’t have to remember where I have my books. Amazon has such a wide selection that I never feel deprived.

I’m glad your family is talking about the Kindle and different ebooks! I hope your father thoroughly enjoys his Kindle Lending Library! :-)

Laura E. Pence November 11, 2011 at 6:23 pm

I have my own account. It would be nice to have everything consolidated in one place, but I’m so spread out now that is probably a moot point. :-)
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Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 13, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Just so long as you remember which book is with which account, you should be okay. :-)

Allyson Stewart November 9, 2011 at 5:17 am

Hi, Carolyn. What a great idea for people like me who like to read! You’re always “so” on top of it with interesting news.

Wish I had an Amazon Prime membership. I know I can try it out for free, but I’ll have to wait a bit since I don’t have a Kindle. That’s awfully nice of Amazon to provide free access to the library for the month. I wonder if this offer will remain after the holidays.

Thanks for sharing!

Allyson

Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm

Hi Allyson, A far as I know, this is a permanent new feature of Amazon Prime. If you don’t have either a Prime membership or a Kindle, it may not be worth getting both, but if you have one, it may just be worth getting the other! :-)
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CarolB November 13, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Hi Carolyn,
I am so happy Amazon Prime is now offering the Kindle Lending Library! I love my Kindle and I have a Prime membership which I was considering dropping. Not now! One free book a month totally justifies my Prime membership. Question for you: will the Lending Library allow a Prime member to have one book per Kindle, or is it only one book per account? We have two kindles registered to the one Prime account.
Thanks again for another great blog.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr November 13, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Hi Carol, You’re welcome, I’m glad you are finding the blog helpful!

Unfortunately, the feature is for one free book per month per account, not per Kindle. That would be great if each Kindle on an Amazon Prime account had a free book per month, but that isn’t the case. The deal is still very sweet though! Have you found any good free books that you want to get from Amazon Prime?

Hamish November 18, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Hey Carolyn,

It’s another very astute move by Amazon – and it’s great value for their customers.

I tend to read a book a week – so borrowing one a month would take my book spend down by 25%!

Unfortunately, Amazon hasn’t initiated this in the UK yet – but surely it can only be a matter of time. Surely. Please?

Anyway, on the subject of Amazon Prime and the Kindle, I’m going to make a prediction right now that, within twelve months, Amazon will start giving the Kindle 4 away free to new Prime members. What do you think?

I’m also going to predict that, by this time next year, if not slightly sooner, the price for the entry level Kindle will dip below $ 50.
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