Amazon has brought its Kindle Owners' Lending Library to the UK and it's now open for business.
It's basically a service that allows you to borrow books from a set list of hundreds of thousands and there's no due date by which to finish them. Users can borrow up to one book a month free and the service works on any Kindle connected to the internet, through Wi-Fi or 3G.
There are caveats, however. You can't use the service on a non-Kindle device, even if it's running a Kindle application - such as an iPad. And it's available only to Amazon Prime subscribers. That said, it adds plenty of extra value to a Prime subscription, which is already worthwhile if you shop a lot through Amazon.co.uk.
Amazon Prime costs £49 a year and gives you free next-day delivery on all Amazon's own listed items (sometimes not on Marketplace items, though).
"Owning a Kindle is getting even better. Today, we’re announcing that our newest Prime benefit, built just for Kindle, is coming to UK customers: The Kindle Owners’ Lending Library," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO.
"Prime members will have exclusive access to a huge library of books to read on any Kindle device at no additional cost and with no due dates.
"We’re already seeing the programme’s success in the US for both readers and authors - customers are reading more and authors are reaching a whole new audience while making money in a new way - and we’re excited to bring it to customers in the UK."
From day one, all the Harry Potter novels are available on the Kindle Owners' Lending Library as well as thousands of titles from Kindle Direct Publishing authors. When self-publishing, writers can choose an option to offer their wares to the library portfolio.
Amazon started to ship the latest devices in its Kindle line-up yesterday, the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD tablets.