Amazon is now offering free Kindle book lending to it's Prime members. From what I see it's only available to U.S. customers and to those with an actual Kindle device (not for Kindle apps). And just one book a month, although I'm guessing that will be increased in time.
Yes, that's for the Prime members, whose benefits are more extensive than just Kindle borrowing. Even so, it's not for me.
What I find more exciting is the appearance of Kindle books in public libraries, including the largest one in our area. Indeed, I'm going through the steps to get a library card now. (To get one, I have to make a personal appearance.)
I'm not entirely sure how this will work, but it looks as if borrowing an ebook (Kindle or otherwise) follows the same requirements as borrowing a hardcopy book: Locate it with the (online) catalog, place a hold on it if necessary, check it out for a limited period. Oh, and it seems that libraries can't lend more copies out than their purchased license of the book permits.
Eubank: You have exactly right. Our library has almost 15,000 ebooks for leading. They have mostly 1 copy of the book. But some new ones have 5 or 10 or so for the popular ones. 21 days with no renewal but if no one is waiting, you can just get it again. One bad thing, there is no way to return it early if you are finished.
Actually there is a way to "return" the Kindle library books early, and frankly I wish more would do it as I'm on the wait list for several books at my local library.
Just go into Amazon's site where you manage your Kindle books (requires log-in) and you see the listing of all the books you have purchased, downloaded etc.
On the right is an "Actions" dropdown. For those books that you have borrowed from a Library you'll have the option to "return" it any time you want. This also disables the book on your Kindle the next time you wirelessly connect.