Amazon’s Kindle Owner’s Lending Library

In the later part of last week, I received an email from Amazon that they had unveiled their new Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.  They were excited to announce that Amazon customers who were Prime members and Kindle owners would have access to their new lending library.

I’ll be honest and say that the conditions of the lending library (one book at a time, and only one book per month per person) left me a little underwhelmed.  However, I looked through the books, and there were a few I was interested in reading off the bat.  I maneuvered my way through the menus and attempted to access the book I wanted.

Jason and I have been Amazon Prime members for many years.  Having Amazon Prime allows us to receive free two day shipping on most of the purchases we make from Amazon’s site.  It also means that many times it’s easier to pop onto Amazon and make a few clicks to make a purchase than it is to get into the car with one, two, or three kids and run across town to buy something.  We make very good use of our Prime membership.

So, when I attempted to access the lending library with my Kindle, I was disappointed to find out that Amazon is only allowing the primary account holder to receive this benefit of Kindle ownership and Prime membership.  I contacted Amazon’s customer service, and I was told that I would be able to access the lending library if I chose to associate my Kindle with Jason’s Amazon account.  I suppose I could do that, but that means I would likely lose most of the 100+ books I currently have on my Kindle that are associated with my account.

Sure, Amazon could be concerned that people might try to take advantage of this and add friends or other family members to their account to receive the benefits.  In my opinion, this would be easily solved by saying either that Prime membership must be limited to either a particular number of accounts/email addresses or to verify that account members share the same physical address.

Jason and I are long time customers.  We aren’t trying to take advantage of the benefits of any of these memberships.  I would like as the non-primary account holder to receive the same benefits as Jason does.  Right now, between the limits on the book lending and the limits on the members, I’m really frustrated with Amazon.  It seems more like a publicity stunt than an attempt to give loyal customers additional reasons to remain customers.

*I’m sure this is not necessary, but I’ll add it anyway.  All opinions expressed are my own and have not been solicited by Amazon.

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