Amazon Kindle owners in the UK can now borrow eBooks, including all seven Harry Potter titles, from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which launches today.
Kindle users can choose from more than 200,000 books to borrow for free. These can be read on Kindle e-ink e-readers and also the Kindle Fire tablet computers.
Amazon has also today announced that its new Kindle Paperwhite, the most advanced e-reader it has ever offered, is coming to Britain this month.
To access the Lending Library, consumers must sign up for an Amazon Prime membership, which costs £49 per year and gives users discounted delivery on products bought from Amazon.
UK Prime members with Kindle devices can now also access thousands of digital books to borrow for free, as frequently as one a month with no due dates.
Alongside JK Rowling‘s Harry Potter books, the library also offers various popular titles across fiction and non-fiction, including Stephen Leather’s The Basement and M.C Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series.
There are also thousands of titles available from the Kindle self-publishing platform, including best-sellers such as Love…From Both Sides by Nick Spalding and As if By Magic by Kerry Wilkinson.
“Owning a Kindle is getting even better. Today, we’re announcing that our newest Prime benefit, built just for Kindle, is coming to UK customers: The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library,” said Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon.com.
“Prime members will have exclusive access to a huge library of books to read on any Kindle device at no additional cost and with no due dates.
“We’re already seeing the programme’s success in the US for both readers and authors – customers are reading more and authors are reaching a whole new audience while making money in a new way – and we’re excited to bring it to customers in the UK.”
Books can be checked out from the library using a customer’s Kindle device, and users can have one book at a time. The titles are also returned with the device and any notes, highlights or bookmarks are automatically saved should the person re-borrow the book.
Alongside the UK, the Lending Library is coming soon to users in France and German.
Amazon has also started UK pre-orders of the Kindle Paperwhite and confirmed that the product will ship to customers on October 25.
Billed as the “most advanced e-reader ever constructed” by Amazon, the Paperwhite offers 62% more pixels and 25% increased contrast than other Kindles, and comes with a patented built-in front light for reading in all lighting conditions.
The Paperwhite offers up to eight weeks of battery life and is priced from £109 for the WiFi version or £169 for the WiFi and 3G model.
As with other 3G Kindle devices, the premium Paperwhite model involves Amazon paying for the 3G connection so that customers can download content anywhere and anytime in more than 80 countries with no annual contracts.