QUESTION: I am an Amazon Prime customer. I know some of the advantages of Prime are free two-day shipping and the free content on Amazon Instant Video. However, I have a question about the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library: Is there a limit of one book per month?
ANSWER: Yes, it’s usually described as “one book per month” but then some of the Amazon promotional literature mentions that borrowing goes by “calendar month.” To me — and a lot of other people — that implies that if you borrowed a book today and decided to borrow another book on September 1, you could do that after “returning” the book you borrowed today. In other words, you wouldn’t have to wait until Sept. 18 to borrow the next book.
However, I’ve read on Amazon’s discussion boards that customers who’ve tried to borrow a new book on the 1st day of the following month were denied the loan, and that Amazon’s customer service personnel clarified that you have to wait “30 days” until the next loan. I’m not 100% sure if that’s accurate or not, but my hunch is it’s correct.
In any case, in my opinion the Lending Library isn’t worth an Amazon Prime subscription by itself — only in combination with the free shipping and instant video services.
Over the long run, though, I think Amazon’s value proposition will improve — I predict they will beef up the free video selection and liberalize the terms of the Lending Library in the not-too-distant future. Just a guess on my part, but it seems to be the direction they’re heading.