The library just became a whole lot more relevant again. Amazon says Kindle users will be allowed to borrow e-books from over 11,000 US public libraries later this year. Yay, free literature, but there's a catch.
Called the "Kindle Library Lending," Kindle users will work with every single Kindle model every created as well as all Kindle apps (be it on a smartphone, tablet or computer). Unlike paper books, you'll be able to add notes and bookmarks to all borrowed e-books. Even nicer is that all your notes and bookmarks will be transferred over if you opt to buy the book afterwards.
Free is free right? Well, the thing is, you'll have to actually go to a brick and mortar library to borrow the e-books. That's not too bad right? Remember we used to do that before the Internet?
On top of this, I also found out that libraries now carry video games. Yup, new-ish games for the Xbox 360 and PS3 can be borrowed at the library for free. No wonder Blockbuster is bankrupt and closing stores all over the place.
With that said, I think I'll have to start making trips to the library again. It'll be a nice reunion for me — to get back in touch with musty...books.
(It's worth noting that the Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo and other readers have allowed sharing for a while now through the ePub system. The Kindle jumping on board is important given the install base of the platform, and the visibility it brings to library e-book sharing for folks who haven't bought into the reader world yet.)