back to article Kindle, meet my partner. Darling, play nice with Kindle, please

Amazon.com has made a small-but-significant enhancement to its Kindle ebook ecosystem, as it now allows sharing ebooks among family members. The new Family Library feature allows one to access ebooks “from the Amazon account of a spouse or partner.” Amazon's allowed loans of ebooks, under limited conditions, for a while now. …

  1. silent_count

    Or you could strip the DRM and give away or loan your ebooks to whoever you choose.

    To paraphrase: You wouldn't stop someone from giving away a book they no longer want. So what makes them think that's acceptable just because its an ebook?

    1. Gray
      Windows

      Xerox, anyone?

      Forgive me for stating the obvious, but since this was the point:

      To paraphrase: You wouldn't stop someone from giving away a book they no longer want. So what makes them think that's acceptable just because its an ebook?

      It's not so easy to run off one or a hundred or a thousand copies of a printed book. That's not the case with an eBook file. Not to excuse the paranoia of the publisher, but it is a bit nerve-wracking to consider that the value of an $8.95 eBook can be diluted with a flood of free copies made from one sale.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: Xerox, anyone?

        Publishers are always saying that the cost is not in the paper printing.

        So I propose that you always get a paper book along with any ebook which has DRM.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Xerox, anyone?

          That's why when I buy a CD I do it through Amazon, to get the digital copy as well.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Xerox, anyone?

            That's why when I buy a CD I do it through Amazon, to get the digital copy as well.

            These days it's faster & easier to rip the CD yourself. Last time I tried to get an album as an MP3 from Amazon I had to turn on 1-click ordering, and then download a 38MByte application just so I could do the MP3 download. I don't need my PC cluttered up with more crap that just duplicates what I already have :( Their MP3s also seem to be 160kbit/s CBR, I prefer 320kbit/s VBR which work out about the same size but better quality.

            1. Tom Chiverton 1

              Re: Xerox, anyone?

              These days you can just download the MP3 direct from Amazon's Cloud Player.

        2. Martin

          Re: Xerox, anyone?

          So I propose that you always get a paper book along with any ebook which has DRM.

          Or alternatively, if you buy a real book, you get an automatic copy of the ebook.

        3. Dazed and Confused

          Re: Xerox, anyone?

          Yes please, I've often bought both the Kindle and hardcopy version of a book. The Kindle is convenient in many ways, but I like books.

      2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: Xerox, anyone?

        "but it is a bit nerve-wracking to consider that the value of an $8.95 eBook can be diluted with a flood of free copies made from one sale"

        This seems like a compelling argument... until you remember that the basic human nature would prevent 99.999% of those who paid $8.95 for it from mass-producing them and giving them away for free. Simply because they have paid for it with their hard earned cash out of their own pocket.

        I know it's true because a) I myself am one of such selfish and greedy bastards and b) ebooks are still selling like hot potatoes even though only the lazy and the stupid are not yet able to strip DRMs from them...

        P.S. Oh, and houses like Baen are selling their ebooks DRM-free as a matter of policy, even through Amazon.

        1. A Known Coward

          Re: Xerox, anyone?

          > This seems like a compelling argument... until you remember that the basic human nature would prevent 99.999% of those who paid $8.95 for it from mass-producing them and giving them away for free.

          Yes, but then it only takes 1 person to put a drm stripped copy on bittorrent from which a hundred thousand (or more) copies are made. While basic human nature makes us less likely to give something away free when we've paid for it, it also means we are less likely to pay for something that can be had for free.

          1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

            Re: Xerox, anyone?

            "Yes, but then it only takes 1 person to put a drm stripped copy on bittorrent from which a hundred thousand (or more) copies are made."

            OK, and so what?...

            It's not different to someone putting their originally DRM-free copy on bittorrent, is it? Yet, there is no apocalyspse happening and the publishers that sell DRM-free are doing not worse, if not better then those who insist on DRMs. And they all keep on selling.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      With an ebook you are surely just buying a licence to read it. You don't own the book.

      1. Alan Gauton

        That depends on the company - Amazon provide licences for content, Kobo make a big deal on the fact that you own the ebooks you buy from them (or at least they used to).

    3. Peter Simpson 1
      Thumb Up

      I have Linux and Calibre. Brilliant software, will convert between formats, all kinds of tricks. Well worth the price (which is free)

      Personally, I find it annoying when the Kindle version of old books is several times the cost of a used copy. I'd rather buy the Kindle version (save trees, etc), but end up buying, then recycling the used paper copy. I suppose it keeps the package delivery folks in business.

  2. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Happy

    3C Variations of RGB code #808080

    So, thousands of spouses/partners etc., will find out that their significant other wasn't reading "Mary Berry's Baking Bible" on the tube.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: "Mary Berry's Baking Bible"

      If it's anything like Nanny Ogg's cookbook they'd not mention it anyway ...

      Strangely I typed the second o as a c (but spotted it)

    2. VinceH Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: 3C Variations of RGB code #808080

      "3C Variations of RGB code #808080"

      Shouldn't that be 32 variations?

      1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: 3C Variations of RGB code #808080

        Damm fingers!

  3. AMBxx Silver badge
    Go

    Possible already

    You're currently allowed 5 Kindles on one account. Plus other devices running the software - there is a limit, I hit it once, but due to not removing old devices.

    Turn off whispersync (most people don't read on multiple devices at the same time) and you can share books easily enough.

    Only downside is that everyone can see the whole library, so need to make sure there's nothing embarrassing on there!

    Comparisons with paper books are slightly off - there are always limitations with paper as only one person can read at a time, so there's a natural limit to how many people can read each one. Plus we see value in an old book, so may wish to keep it on a bookshelf.

  4. Vince Lewis 1

    they're doing sharing wrong

    When you lend a eBook all other eBooks should be unreadable.

    If your wife is reading an ebook from your library, and you start reading a book, her kindle should lock her out.

    if you have 3 kindles in the house only 1 can be used to read books, the others are for decoration only.

    VALVe have gone to great lengths to redefine sharing, and amazon come along with their liberal hippy version of sharing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: they're doing sharing wrong

      but that relies on an always on connection, or at least turning it on, connecting it up and then taking ownership. The great thing about ereaders is the battery life and portability. You'd be miffed if you were on a flight only to find your account is "locked".

      However it's a reasonable idea otherwise.

      1. Vince Lewis 1

        Re: they're doing sharing wrong

        I'm being sarcastic.

        Valve are not being reasonable.

  5. Robert Grant

    Been sharing a calendar for a while

    Wife and I both have the same Google calendar configured. No iOS needed.

    In fact, why on earth is a calendar being mentioned here? What's the got to do with Amazon? You could say that Amazon also don't let you see it on computers made by them, which Apple does let you do. Is that just a random iOS advert?

  6. goldcd

    You can reset reading progress

    Go to to Amazon website and "Manage Your Content and Devices", and it's available from the 'actions' against your books.

    Couple of books/or maybe latest kindle update seem to have a 'bug'. Hyperlinks to the footnotes take you to later in the book, but 'back' dumps you back to the book selection page.

    1. Mossgrove

      Re: You can reset reading progress

      I found this started happening recently - the solution is that the foot note number is now hyperlinked back to the original reference. Took a bit of figuring out since the numbers are so small it is difficult to see the hyperlink marking.

  7. Jdwer

    Kindle app reader

    Here are my favorite Kindle related sites. Can anyone add to the list? Clippings.io for organizing book notes. Goodreads for book recommendations. Readability.com for sending a html page to my Kindle.

  8. Martin Kirk
    FAIL

    One glaring obstacle

    When you dig into it, you can only set this up if you have a latest generation actual Kindle device. You cannot so it from the Android or iPad reading Apps, nor can you do it from your account settings page on the Amazon website.

    Older Kindles andf Fire tablets can't set it up either.

    I guess that those who don't use a "real" Kindle are just second-class citizens.

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