New! Prime members who are Kindle owners can borrow books from Amazon

New! Prime members who are Kindle owners can borrow books from Amazon

Busy day… 🙂

Thanks to Joanne Harris in the Amazon Kindle community for the heads-up on this!

If you are both a Prime member and a Kindle owner, you can now borrow up to one book a month from a specific list of thousands from Amazon…for free!

Kindle Owners Lending Library

We are Prime…you will be absorbed

How can you resist now?

If Prime is $79 a year, you could make that up pretty easily, if you could find 12 books you like.  I think you might be able to do that.

I’m not a Prime member right now (I will be when I get my Kindle Fire in about two weeks, and we think we’ll maintain it after that.

If you are, take a look at

Water for Elephants

and see if you have a link to borrow it. I’d appreciate you letting me know.

There is verbiage on that page now for me:

“For Kindle Device Owners

Borrow this book for free, with no due dates, if you are a Kindle owner and Prime member. If you don’t own a Kindle, get yours today. If you’re not a Prime member, start your one month free trial today. You can borrow this book from your Kindle device.

With Prime, Kindle owners can choose from thousands of books to borrow for free — including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers — as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates. Learn more about Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.”

Here’s the

Kindle Prime Lending Library help page

That has some important additional information:

  • You can borrow a book for as long as you want..but only one at a time and no more than one per calendar month
  • You can read the book on multiple devices on the account, but not currently on Kindle reader apps. So, you could borrow a book, and if it takes three months for everybody on the account to read it, that’s fine…but you can’t borrow another one until it is returned
  • Your annotations are stored in a manner similar to public library books…even after the loan ends, your notes would still be available to you if you bought the book later

It isn’t clear to me if you’ll be able to borrow the books from your computer, or only from your Kindle. You will also be able to manage your Prime membership at

It’ll be under Subscription Settings, but I’m not seeing it yet. It may only be there for me after my Prime membership starts.

This is a very innovative idea, although it was rumored before.

I don’t see a consolidated list yet…hope that’s coming.

What do you think? Feel free to let me know.

Update: here is the

Press Release

It has some additional information about how the deal was made with publishers.

I’ve resisted The Hunger Games a few times when it is has been on sale or part of Special Offers…that may be my first borrow…

Update: okay, I’m seeing the link now, only on my Kindle.

Home-Menu-Shop in Kindle Store, Books, See all…, Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

That’s on a Kindle Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi (formerly commonly called a K3). The category counts:

  • All titles: 5,156
  • Fiction: 1,346
  • Nonfiction: 3,865
  • Advice & How-to: 734
  • Business & Investing: 480
  • Politics & Current Events: 90
  • Literary Fiction: 78
  • Biographies & Memoirs: 223
  • Religion & Spirituality: 456
  • Science Fiction: 68
  • Fantasy: 30
  • Mystery & Thrillers: 149
  • Romance: 330
  • Science: 189
  • History: 271
  • Children’s eBooks: 294
  • Reference: 481
  • Travel: 247
  • Sports: 239
  • Humor: 171
  • Computers 7 Internet: 27
  • Arts & Entertainment: 323
  • Lifestyle & home: 997
  • Parents & Families: 259

Update! Thanks to Betty J. Reed in the Amazon Kindle community for figuring this out! If you change the search box to the Kindle store and search for

Prime eligible

you get this result:

Prime Eligible Kindle Books

That seems to be them. 🙂
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

22 Responses to “New! Prime members who are Kindle owners can borrow books from Amazon”

  1. Georgia Says:

    When I clicked on Water for Elephants, it says

    Prime Members: $0.00 (read for free)

    On the side, it says buy for $6.99 instead of the usual buy with 1-Click. I think I’ll wait and let someone else be the guinea pig to see if you actually get charged for the book. I know Amazon would refund it if I did, but I’m not in the mood to try it tonight.

    I wish there was a list where you could see what free to read books are available.

  2. Michael Gallagher Says:


    I’d be more than happy to loan you my copy of Water for Elephants!



  3. Lady Galaxy Says:

    I was checking out the “Recommended for you” books in the Kindle store. Out of the 24 recommendations, one book, “Crossing Oceans,” had a checkmark on the far right side along with the word “prime.” When I clicked to see details about the book, it says “Borrow for free with Prime.” I’m not a Prime member, and this is not a book I’d care to read, but I found it interesting that they’re trying to tempt me to join Prime in this way.

  4. Roger Knights Says:

    When the Kindle was announced, JB said, “This is the most important thing we’ve ever done.” I believed him (and said so online)–and it follows from his commitment that he would invest and innovate sufficiently to make the Kindle irresistible, far outdistancing competitors when all factors are taken into consideration. (I.e., the ecology of the device, including supporting features like this one.) That’s why I strenuously objected when relatives were tempted by the Nook. I said, Don’t even think about the other guys–they’re not in the same league. JB’s a winner and he’ll do what it takes to win, long term.

    In light of that, one could interpret “Fire” as implying the existence of a long-term plan that is just now coming to fruition, because it suggests that previously Amazon was just getting ready and aiming. It was JB twisting the noses of those who’ve done him wrong (Apple / B&N / agency-model publishers). Hence JB keeps upping the ante with things like this book-borrowing-for-Prime-subscribers. It’s part of a bigger plan that is—or should be!—meant to solve the drawbacks of eBooks compared to paper books, and to accentuate their existing advantages.

    So Amazon probably has other important “one-next-thing”s in the pipeline and on the drawing board. One of them ought to be a beefed-up and slicker feature set, which could be implemented by a software update. It’s overdue. It would have been logical for the company to have frozen the KB-Kindle’s features while all these other new products and features were being developed, so as not to have too many balls in the air at once. (What a project-management task this must be!) So I’m hoping this will be the next big thing—and that lots of the ideas I’ve dropped into the Kindle-Feedback suggestion box will make the cut.

    Once its eBook-mission is technically accomplished, Amazon will become the country’s (and then the world’s) #1 book publisher / retailer / library, and a leading periodical portal too. When THAT’S accomplished, everyone will own some sort of Kindle and be tied into Amazon’s mobile-device ecosystem. Then JB can rest on his laurels—though he’s probably too restless for that.

  5. Sherri Says:

    It looks like right now you can only borrow from the Kindle, not from the web site. From my Kindle, if I go to a book that’s available for lending, I’m given the option to “buy” or “borrow for free (Prime members only”. I’m in the middle of reading 3 books right now on my Kindle – I was already reading two when the November sale hit and there was a book I had to have! – so I’m not going to try it this instant.

    Impressive deal though. I’ve been a Prime member since the beginning, and they keep making the deal better and better.

  6. Roger Knights Says:

    PS: I wrote, “one could interpret “Fire” as implying the existence of a long-term plan that is just now coming to fruition, because it suggests that previously Amazon was just getting ready and aiming. It was JB twisting the noses of those who’ve done him wrong (Apple / B&N / agency-model publishers).”

    IOW, it was JB’s covert way of saying to them, “I’m gunning for you.”

  7. Jackie Says:

    According to “How to Borrow from your Kindle,” there should be a link under the menu called “Kindle Owners Lending Library.” Of course, the picture showing is one of the newer Kindles and the Kindle Fire (I’ll have my Kindle Fire in two weeks). I have the Kindle 2 and no such link is there. I wonder if they’ll do a software update for it. Anyway, if I search for a book in this case The Hunger Games, on the search results page “prime” appears next to the title and when you select the book, you have the option to buy or borrow for free. Of course, I think without that link, you have no way of knowing which books are prime and which are not. I do not see a way of searching of borrowing the books from your computer at this time.

  8. D. Knight Says:

    Hi! I have a Kindle Keyboard and a Prime membership. I just borrowed “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” (I’ve already read “Water for Elephants”). Here’s how:

    I checked on the PC first, but there was no “borrow” button. Although the price section clearly states I can read it for free:

    Digital List Price: $11.95 What’s this?
    Prime Members: $0.00 (read for free) Prime Eligible
    Kindle Purchase Price: $9.09

    The purchase button states “Buy for $9.09” and there is no additional button.

    So I went to my Kindle and “Shop in Kindle Store”
    I did NOT have “Kindle Owners’ Lending Library” option in the menu that is illustrated on the help page (my guess it’ll be added during the next software update). So I searched on the specific book. The search did have the prime logo just as illustrated in the help guide.

    When I clicked on its page, there was both a buy and a borrow button (forgot the exact wording) available. I clicked borrow and it was delivered immediately.

    I went to the Manage Your Kindle page (first page, Your Library) and the book is listed with a Prime logo beside it. When you choose “loans” in the view dropdown the book appears along with your library and other loans.

    BTW, this is what is on the subscription settings page under manage your Kindle:

    Your Amazon Prime Membership
    Kindle Owners’ Lending Library: You’ve reached your borrowing limit for this month.
    Manage Prime Membership

    This is after I borrowed the book. The last line is a link to a page that allows you to cancel, change payment, change 1-click settings, etc.

  9. D. Knight Says:

    Continued: After already borrowing “The 7 Habits…” I went back on the Kindle and searched for “Fast Food Nation” (another book in the lending library).

    The search list still showed the Prime logo, and the book page still has both buttons: “Buy” OR “Borrow for Free”
    The borrow button is ghosted out and “Monthly limit reached” is underneath it.

    Can you see both buttons on the Kindle?

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, D!

      Yes, I see both buttons…I suspect that if I clicked the Borrow button, it would offer a Prime free month for me. I’m going to get that with my Fire anyway, so I’ll wait…and then I expect we’ll use Prime.

      Interestingly, when we’ve done the calculations, the shipping savings wasn’t enough for us. The streaming video and book borrowing will probably push us over, but I have to make sure how the former works. Then, because we had it, we would start using Prime for physical goods…exactly Amazon’s plan. 🙂

      • D. Knight Says:

        When I ordered the Fire it told me that my free month would get added to my account (I guess it’ll just push the sign-up date out a month).

        You should be able to sign up for a free trial now without losing anything (unless you’ve already used it).

      • Roger Knights Says:

        “Then, because we had it, we would start using Prime for physical goods…exactly Amazon’s plan.”

        Resistance is futile … You will be absorbed …

  10. Laura Says:

    This is so cool!! I was toying with the idea of not renewing Prime now that I have a Kindle, but this is pushing me back towards keeping it.

  11. Teresa Bacon Says:

    I didn’t know if I would use the streaming part of Prime after I got my Fire and I don’t mind waiting a week to get free shipping ( although it’s a pain to always have to spend 25$) but the book lending is the icing on the cake! Prime it is! You gotta love Amazon!

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Teresa!

      I’ll be testing Prime during my free month with my Fire. With my other free month, my conclusion was that it wasn’t worth it…but that as before the streaming and book lending.

  12. Dave Says:

    I’m a Prime member, but my Kindle is on a family member’s account who doesn’t have Prime. I was hoping that if I shared my Prime membership with that family member (which Amazon allows you to do with up to 4 different family members) that I would then be able to use the lending program. Sadly, it didn’t work. Looks like the only benefit passed along with sharing a Prime account is the 2-Day free shipping.

  13. Amazon’s Prime Lending Library has them in a tizzy…but it makes sense « I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] I recently wrote about Amazon’s new Prime Lending Library. […]

  14. Amazon posts list for Prime lending library « I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] number the there is 5,376. I reported 5,156…maybe they’ve added 120 since then. They do list five as Coming Soon, showing […]

  15. amazon ereader Says:

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    […]New! Prime members who are Kindle owners can borrow books from Amazon « I Love My Kindle[…]…

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