More on the Amazon library

I mentioned earlier my discovery of Amazon.com’s new “library.” Details at the time were a bit vague, but America’s leading investigative Journal — PC mag — has gotten the scoop.

There are currently 5,377 Kindle e-books available to Prime members. The top five books include For Time and Eternity (Sister Wife) by Allison Pittman, the Hunger Games trilogy from Suzanne Collins, and Fuse of Armageddon by Sigmund Brouwer and Hank Hanegraaff. There are also some classics like Dracula, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Treasure Island and Little Women, as well as more recent hits like Water for Elephants.

Looks like Amazon is focusing on the meaningless pablum sought after by most of brain-dead humanity. But there’s an interesting twist…

The selection of e-books, however, is causing some controversy. According to the Wall Street Journal, the six largest U.S. publishers are not participating due to concern over future sales, but the LA Times points out that some publishers who opted out were surprised to see their books on the lending list anyway. The Times said Amazon is getting around this because it bought the books at wholesale, meaning it can sell the titles for any price. Ideally, Amazon would sell it for the publisher’s set price, but it’s not restricted to those prices.

It remains to be seen how this will affect the marketplace for books. This question also pops into my head: what if Amazon starts lending out movies and video games?

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