Amazon and its Kindle reader have long made it possible to share books among devices that are registered to the same account. And that doesn’t mean that you even have to own a Kindle to do it! You can manage a Kindle account for almost any kind of tablet, like the iPad, or any smartphone, like the Samsung phone in your pocket. You can even manage a Kindle account on your computer! Just install the correct software for your device–click here to see a complete list of Kindle-compatible devices where you can click on your device to get the software–and you are ready to start. Any book you purchase can be loaded onto any of these devices and shared in this manner between several readers. Just remember the limit on devices that can share a single book on your account is six (6)–if you want to load a book onto a seventh device on your account, you will need to remove it from another device first.
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But what if you want to share your Kindle book with a friend who has their own Amazon Kindle account? That is pretty easy to do as well, except there are many more restrictions and limitations involved:
- You can only lend a book that the publisher has designated for lending; today, that is just a fraction of all the Kindle books out there.
- You have to initiate the loan from your Manage My Kindle page in your Amazon account.
- The book that you lend can only be shared once.
- You will not be able to read or access the book on any of your Kindle devices during the period of the loan.
- The lending period is standard: 14 days. Once the loan expires, the book’s status will be changed back in your account and you will once again have access to the book.
- When you notify your friend that you want to loan the book, they have seven days to accept the loan.
How do I find out if a book I own is able to be shared with a friend?
In Manage My Kindle, look at the list of books you own at the bottom of the page. Click the little plus sign (+) next to the book and select the “View product page” link. On the product page for the book, look directly above the title. If you see these words:
Loan this book to anyone you choose.
then you are able to loan the Kindle book. Click on the link to proceed with your loan. You will need your friend’s email address to send the notification that you are interested in sharing the title with them.
And that’s it!
Remember that you will not have access to the book while your friend accepts the loan and reads the book, a potential of 21 days.