My contract with the library says I will take out no more than 6 books at a time, and will keep them out of circulation for no more than 21 days. If I keep the books and read them at my leisure and delete them when I am done, I have not breached my contract with the library. At the very least, it is a technical breach, and the damages are zero.
I would not buy these books if I could not get them from the library. This does not change my behavior from that with paper books. The books I really wanted to keep, I would buy (Harry Potter), and all the others I would get from the library. That is what I pay for with my taxes to the library. I am still buying the books I want to have permanently or don't want to wait for from the library (Southern Vampire Series) and getting the rest from the library. The fact that I am not reading the books as I get them is different, and perhaps I shouldn't do that, but I can't really think who I am hurting, as long as I have returned the books and delete them after I read them. The fact that I read them on a kindle rather than a Sony reader? Surely that is not the point. Libraries are funded to provide free books for a limited period of time. I could xerox a library book and read it later. I believe there is a copyright exception for personal use. This is the first time I have used my library since I got my kindle. It is better, from the library's perspective, that I use the library, because if I don't, I will not be willing to support it.
If libraries had an open format, I would have no problem reading the library books as I got them. I have 35 pages of books on my kindle, and the thought that I will read all of them before I die is ridiculous, especially since I keep buying books and downloading free (legal) books.
I know this is rationalization (after all, I am a lawyer) but since my behavior is now exactly the same as before I got my kindle, I am not troubled. Is it really immoral?