Borrowing media may not die with the digital age. Amazon has announced that Kindle users will soon have the ability to share e-books with one another. Anyone with a Kindle or a Kindle app on a smartphone or tablet will soon be able to lend a book to another user for 14 days, free of charge. During the loaning period, the book will not be accessible to the person who loaned it, much like how loaning a book in the physical world works. Book publishers will have the option to enable or disable this sharing feature, which will launch sometime in 2010.
In other good Kindle news, newspapers and magazines are now available on the Kindle apps as well. In the weeks ahead, Amazon will continue to add magazines and newspapers to the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch apps, followed soon after by Kindle for Android and other apps.
Both of these moves reaffirm Amazon’s vision to support a cross platform strategy for its e-book store. Due to competitive pricing and ease of availability, the Kindle continues to sell well, despite stiff competition from Barnes & Noble and Apple’s iPad. However, the timing of this announcement is rather telling. Barnes & Noble is set to announce a new version of its Nook e-reader tomorrow (Oct. 26), rumored to support a full color display and cost only $249.