It was something that was promised early in the Kindle lifecycle, but I’d never really believed that with all the lockdown and DRM love that big media put on electronic files that it would ever happen. However, Amazon has today announced that certain Kindle ebooks can now be loaned to another Kindle user for a period of up to 14 days!

You can initiate a loan from Manage Your Kindle or the book’s product detail page on Amazon.com. You’ll enter the borrower’s name and e-mail address and an optional notification message. Your recipient can receive the book loan even if they do not yet have a Kindle or Kindle reading application.

This is a huge, and very welcome, step that takes digital ebooks one step closer to the ‘real book’ experience, and therefore one step closer toward doing away with real books. The ebook reading experience has simply got better and better over the last year, with the release of the new slimmer Kindle 3 and the Kindle software available across all the major platforms, reading an Amazon book has never been easier. The ability to loan a book now completes the circle and once available on all titles will dramatically reduce the strength of an argument for a physical library.