Amazon.com Inc. is going to allow the lending of e-books purchased from its Kindle Store.
The online retailer announced the upcoming feature in a discussion forum for the Kindle on its website Friday, saying that later in the year it will start letting Kindle users and people who use its free Kindle apps loan books to others for a two-week period. During the loan, the book's owner will not be able to read the book, Amazon said.
Only some Kindle books will be available for lending; Amazon said that the decision is up to the book's publisher or rights holder.
Amazon's most recently released Kindle sells for $139 and uses Wi-Fi to wirelessly download content from the Kindle Store. A version with Wi-Fi and 3G data network access costs $189, and a version with these same wireless connection options and a larger screen called the Kindle DX sells for $379.
Amazon also offers a slew of apps that allow anyone to read Kindle books and content on mobile devices such as smart phones and Apple Inc.'s iPad, and on computers.
The Kindle will not be the first e-reader to get a lending feature; Barnes & Noble Inc.'s Nook e-reader also has such a feature that lets users loan books between other Nooks and gadgets that have the free Nook software.