The New York Times is reporting Amazon’s inclusion of thousands of libraries across the country to Kindle downloads. “Libraries are a critical part of our communities,” Jay Marine, director of Kindle at Amazon, said in a statement. “And we’re excited to be making Kindle books available at more than 11,000 local libraries around the country.”
The introduction of the Kindle, the biggest-selling e-reader, opens up library e-books to a wider audience, heightening the fears of publishers that many customers will turn to libraries for reading material. If that happens, e-book buyers could become e-book borrowers, leading to a potentially damaging loss of revenue for an industry grappling with a profound shift in consumer reading habits.
Library e-books are already available on Barnes & Noble’s Nook, the Sony Reader, smartphones, laptops and other devices, but never on the Kindle, whose users had long complained that they were left out.