Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has started lending out Kindle books, a move that catches it up with rival Barnes and Noble (NYSE:BKS).
The program, launched Thursday, allows readers, even non-Kindle owners, to borrow a book from another user for 14 days. The books can be downloaded and read using the Kindle or the online retailer’s free Kindle apps available on various mobile devices.
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Only lendable books, those approved by the publisher or rights holder, are eligible for the program. Once the book is loaned out, the lender will not be able to access it until it is returned. Eligible titles will be marked as so under the product details section on Amazon.
Kindle owners who want to loan out their book can do so through Amazon’s Kindle management page. The owner only has to enter the borrower’s name and email.
The initiative aligns Amazon with Barnes & Noble’s Nook eReader. Rolled out last year, the Nook offers a variety of features, including the ability to loan books to people for a two week period.