The future of e-book lending

Is there a future for libraries lending e-books?

Recently several big name publishers have been limiting their e-book licensing to libraries. In fact many  have decided not to allow libraries to lend e-books. From Penguin to Random house, publishers have been cutting down on e-book lending and restricting the legal terms on their books. As the books that libraries stock depend on Publishers and authors making them available laws would need to be changed considerably in order for libraries to grow in this area.

E-book lending in the private sector

Libraries are also facing tough competition from the private sector. Amazon has already launched its own e-book lending library for its prime members which allows them to borrow one book at a time with no due dates. Although this service is currently only available for a limited number of titles and only to those signed up for the paid program, Amazon may well make it more widely available in the future.

Given how e-orientated Barnes and Noble are becoming it's only a question of time before they too offer their own e-lending model.

The future of e-lending?

There is little room for libraries to become active e-lenders. Publishers and authors want to sell books and so want to limit the amount of e-lending allowed. Private sector companies like Amazon are already making moves to increase e-lending. The e-industry is growing and no doubt readers will be happy at more e-books being made available for free.

How do you feel about lending e-books?


  1. I don't understand why retailers get involved in loaning, but I have to admit I don't usually borrow ebooks from my library. Part of that is because I have plenty of material here to read, but the other side is that when I go to the library I want research material and that usually means printed matter.

  2. I've borrowed from the library a few times, and I like how both Amazon and B&N handle it. I rarely finish the book before it's due back (always too much to read) but it's really easy to buy a copy, not lose what page I'm on, and keep going. Makes for a happy reader.

    If it is true, as has often been suggested, that people frequently borrow to buy, which is the reason for Amazon getting into the lending business, both Amazon and B&N will easily be able to track that, gauge if the no-lending policy is cutting into their (and by extension the publishers') profits, and apply some gentle pressure.

  3. Big companies like Amazon can afford to offer books for free and use e-lending to draw customers to the site (give the customer what they want strategy).

    I think the only people that really win from e-lending are the readers.

  4. I never knew about the facts related to eBook lending... thanks for the knowledge.


I love to hear from you. So feel free to comment, but keep in mind the basics of blog etiquette — no spam, no profanity, no slander, etc.

Thanks for being an active part of the Writers and Authors community.