So you got yourself a Kindle or a Nook or an iPad or what have you for Christmas and you went and bought an ebook or two while you were snowed in. Those things are awesome, right? But now you've got this digital version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo you probably aren't going to touch again. What to do? It isn't like you can bring it over to Housing Works. So, why not lend it to someone else?
Thanks to "lending" features like the one Amazon recently turned on and Barnes & Noble has been touting for a year now, the clever folks at eBookExchange have gone and set up a digital lending library.
The site is still rolling out but will be pretty straight forward—if step-heavy thanks to Amazon and B&N's interfaces. You list the books you are done reading and when someone wants to borrow it you'll get an e-mail from eBookExchange with the borrower's info. Then you have to go and actually lend the book yourself on the device manufacturer's website. Books can be lent for free, but if you are willing to contribute (all profits will go to support childhood literacy) you get bumped up the list. Here, we'll let them explain:
When an ebook is listed, borrowers indicate they want to borrow the book. The first borrower that's willing to contribute more than $2 wins the ability to borrow the book from the lender. If none of the potential borrowers wants to contribute, eBook Exchange awards the ebook to a borrower based on a number of factors, including the member's ranking in the community, how active they are on eBook Exchange, who submitted their borrow request first, etc.. The award of pending ebooks loans to borrowers is made several times a day, based on the demand for the ebook.
We've already signed up. Anyone want to read our copy of Freedom?
But wait, you say, you want to read your eBooks for totally free and are already bored of your Project Guttenberg options? No worries, you have more books to choose from! As long as you aren't on a Kindle, your eBook reader most likely can borrow from the New York Public Library's eBook collection. It's really not hard, all you need is a library card.
While these options might not be great for the world's struggling authors (what ever is?), they certainly are nice for frugal readers with expensive gadgets to pay off.