Amazon launches Kindle library book lending in US

People in the US are now able to borrow Kindle e-books from more than 11,000 local libraries there, Amazon said on Wednesday.The system allows people visiting their local library's website to choose books for borrowing, which then takes place through the Amazon.

People in the US are now able to borrow Kindle e-books from more than 11,000 local libraries there, Amazon said on Wednesday.

The system allows people visiting their local library's website to choose books for borrowing, which then takes place through the Amazon.com website. Downloaded books can be viewed on Kindles or through the Kindle app, which works on a variety of desktop and mobile platforms.

"Libraries are a critical part of our communities and we're excited to be making Kindle books available at more than 11,000 local libraries around the country," Kindle director Jay Marine said in a statement.

Marine explained that the books would use Amazon's Whispersync technology, so users' notes, highlights and bookmarks would be backed up. This would allow those annotations to reappear when the user borrows the book again or buys it.

Amazon's move will give the company's proprietary e-book format a boost against the rival ePub standard, which is used in many public libraries but is not compatible with the Kindle.

ZDNet UK has asked Amazon whether it will extend the Kindle library loaner scheme to the UK, but a spokesperson said the company refuses to discuss future plans.

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