Amazon begins testing Kindle library lending

Libraries in Seattle have started testing the feature that allows readers to borrow books using their Kindle.

Amazon signed a deal with Overdrive earlier this year to provide the service, which the retailer said will be offered to 11,000 libraries.

The Seattle Public Library and King County Library, both in the same city as Amazon's headquarters, began to offer the service on Monday (19th September). Bill Ptacek, director of the King County Library System, told the Seattle Times: "It's a big deal for us because so many of our patrons have purchased Kindles, and they've been asking for the longest time." He said digital book borrowing had increased by 150% during the past 12 months.

Borrowing works by selecting a book from the library website and then logging into an Amazon.com account. From there, a user can "redeem" the loan, downloading the title onto the Kindle for the loan period.

Both libraries have a limited number of Kindle books available to lend. The Seattle Times refers to Kathryn Stockett's The Help, which has a waiting list of 147 people for 91 Kindle copies.