(via CrunchGear) The deal seems to be that patrons will be able to borrow books free of charge for a limited period of time using the hardware Kindle device or their Kindle apps on other devices such as the iPhone, iPad, Android phone, etc.
What I’m wondering and even Matt Burns, of CrunchGear wasn’t sure is if there will be an artificial scarcity placed on books?
I do like this bit though:
“We’re doing a little something extra here,” Marine continued. “Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we’re extending our Whispersync technology so that you can highlight and add margin notes to Kindle books you check out from your local library. Your notes will not show up when the next patron checks out the book. But if you check out the book again, or subsequently buy it, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced.”
I’m okay with this idea, as long as Amazon doesn’t expect a huge fee to paid by my public library for offering the service. Library budgets in the best of times are slim, in today’s topsy turvy world they are practically non-existent.
No, I’d prefer that Amazon give the service for free to libraries. They’ve already announced an ad supported hardware Kindle device, so why not extend that idea out to these library loan books? Everytime you open one of these library loan books you might see a display ad on the home screen, but not within the book itself. Amazon wins because it will drive the hardware Kindle sales, and the use of their Kindle apps on other devices, which ultimately results in more book sales from Library patrons who decide that they’d rather own a particular book rather than having to check it out multiple times.of course, I would expect that all ads would disappear once I owned the book in my own Kindle library.
The ads may not be able to support the entire cost to Amazon, but it could certainly help defray te costs. The question might whether there are not enough suitable and complying advertisers to support this model.
If so, I think this model would be particularly helpful with notoriously expensive books such as textbooks.
CrunchBase has this bit about OverDrive and how they might be involved in this prcoess.