B&N Ebook Reader Lets You Loan A Book Just Once

One of the big selling points about the Nook, the new ebook reader introduced this week by Barnes & Noble, is that unlike Amazon they’ll let you virtually “loan” your ebook to a friend for up to 14 days (if the publisher allows it). What they don’t tell you–some smart readers over at MobileRead sussed it out–is that you can only do this one time per book. You’d better lend wisely–and your friend had better finish that book within 14 days.

I can see why B&N, or rather publishers, might not want an infinite digital lending sys–oh wait! No I can’t, because currently a consumer can infinitely re-lend a bound book and so far as we know that behavior doesn’t contribute to piracy.

If you want to really lend out your books, it looks like you’ll have to keep buying physical copies (or break the law by removing the DRM on your digital versions). The problem with this highly restricted “lending” feature is that Barnes & Noble is getting a lot of marketing buzz over it, when it turns out it’s nothing at all like real book lending.

“It’s official — You can only loan a book out once.” [MobileRead] (Thanks to Gideon!)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.