When Joy showed Bob an advanced yoga move at the dining room table, she broke her Kindle 3 when her heel slammed down on the screen. Whoops. So we replaced it (the gadget, not the foot) with a new $79 Kindle, which is so light it nearly floats. It was a roundabout way of doing it, but that’s how we discovered what’s new with book borrowing.

Actually, we knew that “Amazon Prime” members can borrow books instead of buying them, but we didn’t realize how big the selection had become. A “Prime” membership costs $79 a year and includes free two-day shipping on all Amazon purchases, along with free video streaming to laptops or other gadgets. And then there’s the lending library. It has 50,000 titles available right now, including 100 current and former New York Times bestsellers.

One of our nieces got a Kindle for Christmas and so we showed her how to borrow “The Hunger Games,” by Suzanne Collins. In her household, her dad is the Prime member, so he had to borrow the book first and then lend it to her. Only 49,999 titles to go.

In other “Prime” news, Amazon recently signed up more TV networks. Prime members can now get free shows from MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, TV Land, Spike, and other channels, in addition to the ones available before: PBS, FOX, CBS, ABC, Sony, Warner Brothers, etc. We figure that eventually you’ll be able to get every kind of TV show through Amazon Prime or Netflix or some similar service. The prices will be a steal, compared to cable TV. For example, Joy just discovered she can watch the popular British series “Downton Abbey” on Netflix.


  1. You can keep the borrowed book as long as you like. This page has a lot of info:
    So does this page:

    Here’s a good quote from the latter page: “One book can be borrowed at a time, and there are no due dates. You can borrow a new book as frequently as once a month, directly on your registered Kindle device, and you will be prompted to return the book that you are currently borrowing.
    If you have already borrowed a book in that calendar month, you are not yet eligible to borrow a new book until the next calendar month. There is no “roll-over” or accrual of unused borrowing eligibility.”