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Barnes & Noble e-reader to allow lending books?

updated 10:35 pm EDT, Fri October 9, 2009

Barnes & Noble reader may ship Oct. 20

Barnes & Noble's first e-book reader should launch soon and could introduce a watershed feature for any reader, a contacts claim this evening. The bookstore supposedly has a "major event" scheduled for October 20th where it's likely to introduce the e-book reader it promised for the end of the year. The device is likely to be a grayscale reader but to use AT&T 3G for downloading books online.

More important may be a rare lending feature. Barnes & Noble is pressing publishers for usage rights that would let customers temporarily give an e-book they own to a friend. Loans would most likely be limited, however, and publishers are said to be hesitant to allow too many loans in a given year.

Wi-Fi is also deemed probable based on the comments of one unnamed senior official at a publisher, who says the short-range wireless is being used for in-store demos that Barnes & Noble considers essential to the e-reader's success.

Barnes & Noble's launch if fulfilled would give it an edge in the e-book reader market over the Amazon Kindle, which allows multi-device reading but not loans or Wi-Fi. It may also set the stage for future competition between the book retailer and a future Apple e-book store mated to a tablet platform.

By Electronista Staff


  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    Seems like the eReader wars are

    starting to heat up in earnest. Maybe this time the tablet platform will pick up with multiple brands and Apple possibly leading the way. I'm not an avid magazine reader as I once was, but I still spend a lot of time reading on my computer screen. If I can get a tablet where I can get subscriptions and use for internet browsing, I think I'd get a lot of use out of it. I'm definitely in the market for a decent tablet. I don't see the form factor as a problem. I just want decent battery life and a durable device that could cope with a few knocks.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004


    what bullies

    Publishers are hesitant to allow to many loans in one year??

    My response to that, is actually, to full of expletives to post here.

    Suffice to say, what an outrageous attitude.

    We've been able to share our paper books for hundreds of years now, and guess what, it helps the sales of books, you short sighted, money grubbing, and worst of all - arrogant .....ok, this is about to go back into expletive mode, so let me stop there.

    When they get the ebook readers down to $100, I'll just buy an extra one, and loan the whole device. Try and stop that you SOBs.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001



    No, they just want to make sure you don't loan out your book to 50 people at one time, like people do with music files. And I'm sure it would need to be set up so you can't read it again until the file is returned, just like a real book.

    None of this is money grubbing.

    Money grubbing is when they insist on charging the same (or MORE!) for the electronic version than the same book in physical form, esp. hard cover. How, exactly, can a book cost more electronically than it does when they have to print and ship it?

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