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Old 04-04-2012, 04:55 PM   #1
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what do you think about lending sites (Lendme, Ebookfling, etc)

Hi, there,

I recently learned about the lending functions on the Kindle and Nook. (Note: I am not referring to the Amazon Prime Lending Library!).

I know that some third parties serve as intermediaries to manage the lending between two people. Lendme, Ebookfling, BookLending.com Most are free or charge a minor amount for those who wish to borrow ebooks but haven't acquired any credits from lending ebooks to other people.

Does anyone use these services? Which service works best? Worst? Do you find that these things are actually useful ? Do they save you money or simply waste your time?

Are the restrictions too onerous? Or reasonable enough?


Do you have any recommendations for how to use this service?

I've started joining these services and want to write an article about what I find out. But people here probably have firsthand knowledge already. Thanks!

Last edited by rjnagle; 04-04-2012 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:28 PM   #2
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I use Booklending.com, I have several of my books listed and I've lent a few. These seems to be a lot of people that don't have any books listed to lend but want to borrow them.
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:17 PM   #3
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I didn't know about it. Great idea, I wouldn't mind listing my books.
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:38 PM   #4
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I think it's a great idea. I don't use it myself, but I like the idea.
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:53 PM   #5
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Interesting, I didn't know sites like this exist. I checked out Booklending... it looks like it's only compatible with Kindle. Is that correct? I signed up, since I have a few books I've purchased through Amazon and I can read borrowed books on my app, but is there something like this for Nook owners?

EDIT: Oops I just noticed Ebookfling. That allows both Kindle and Nook, so I signed up for that as well.

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Old 04-05-2012, 08:03 AM   #6
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I've been using the 3 larger services for the past few months and each one has its quirks, but I'm reasonably happy with how it's worked out (I think it's not a waste of time). The main limitation for all services is that most big-publisher books aren't lending-enabled.

Lendle (Kindle only):
This is the most transparent site. You can see how many users have listed each book, how many lends requested and fulfilled. Even if the book isn't available, you can use a borrow request to "get in line" for when someone lists it. You can earn borrow requests by adding, rating or tagging books (it's easy to get them even if you aren't lending anything straight away). This site also gives you a small credit when you lend, and you can redeem this for an Amazon GC once you get to $10 (what you get per book varies a lot, so I don't really know much about how this actually works out in practice).
PS. If anyone wants to sign up, my referral code is AIET4SH7.


ebookfling (Kindle/Nook):
This website will try to sell you credits (I find it kind of fishy that they'll sell credits, but anyway, you don't have to listen to them, it's not necessary to buy any). You can get credits by lending books or by "instant flinging" (this is, you lend the book to a provided dummy email address and then they'll list the book as available for "instant download" by giving out the link).
It's easy to get some credits by getting a few books of the kind that are temporarily free for the Kindle and then (if not immediately, after a few days) you'll usually be able to "instant fling" these books. Credits expire 1 year after earning them.
I like their wishlist, as you can keep track of what books are available without actually requesting them. You can't use credits to "get in line" as with Lendle. If you try to borrow a book and the owner doesn't send it to you, the request gets cancelled after a week and you get your credit back.

Booklending.com (Kindle):
This site doesn't use a credits system or require you to lend any books (they mention that it's OK if you are an international user and can only request books, not lend them). You can change the settings to borrow a maximum of 0 to 3 books per week, so you can add as many books as you like to your requests list (like it's a Netflix queue) and not get completely overwhelmed. The priority that's related to you getting one of your borrow requests once it becomes available is supposed to be related to how many books you've lent, but it's not very clear how this works exactly.

-----------------------------------------

I don't like that users seem to sometimes list books and then never actually lend them when a request comes in. I notice this more on Lendle (as there you see how many users have the book listed). If a user doesn't lend a book that they've listed (or removed the book from their available list), then their account should be "vacationed" or something so that the book doesn't keep showing as available when it's really not (on Lendle I have a few books where I've been first in line for weeks when there are copies "available").

Anyway, I hope this helped a bit and that more people share their opinions/experiences! I think these services are great because through them I've also been able to try new authors that aren't usually found in libraries.

Just to be thorough, other similar sites are:
Lendink / Books for Nooks / Books for my Kindle
Bookfriend.me / Lending eBook / Kinboox

Last edited by andreabc; 09-08-2012 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:35 AM   #7
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I've used several of them. When a book actually allows lending between users it is a great way to try out a new author.


The best thing is, unlike loaning your paper books, your eBook will be returned to you and it won't have a smudge of lasagne on the back cover.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:35 AM   #8
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Andrea, these are fantastic tips. As I said, I'll be writing an article based on my experiences (in about a month or so). It strikes me that you'd also want to find ebooks by the same owner (because if you find someone with one book, you want, chances are that they'd have others.

Also, this doesn't really solve the problem of finding quality works -- it's mainly good for borrowing well-known works.

Another thing. This may not apply to bestsellers, but a lot of the ebooks I am interested in costs less than $4. It seems like a lot of trouble to borrow something for that cheap (even if we assume that the ebook is available for lending and that the person responds rather quickly).
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:29 PM   #9
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It strikes me that you'd also want to find ebooks by the same owner (because if you find someone with one book, you want, chances are that they'd have others.

Also, this doesn't really solve the problem of finding quality works -- it's mainly good for borrowing well-known works.

Another thing. This may not apply to bestsellers, but a lot of the ebooks I am interested in costs less than $4. It seems like a lot of trouble to borrow something for that cheap (even if we assume that the ebook is available for lending and that the person responds rather quickly).
The only site that allows you to browse at all the available books a user has is Lendle. You can "follow" users and will see on the main page when they add new books.

Most of the books available are indie books. Personally, I still find my book recommendations through other sites/people and add them to my very long wishlist. If the book is lending-enabled, it's more likely that I'll read it (and discover if I like that author or not) sooner. There are so many books out there, that even the small subset of lending-enabled books is enough to keep me busy. (Right now I've borrowed The Maze Runner and I'm enjoying it so far. I think it's good that even if Random House doesn't usually enable lending, they are doing it for the first one in this trilogy.)

It might be a bit of trouble to get started, but now that I have some credits on both Lendle and ebookfling, I don't find it an inconvenience. But then, I'm a student and a bit of a tightwad, so YMMV. It also depends on whether you want a specific book at that moment (in this case I'd probably just buy the book if it's not too expensive) or if you are OK with occasionally getting books from a list of several that you are interesed in checking out.

Also worth mentioning are some publishers that have lending-enabled books:
Bloomsbury (Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Anthony Bourdain books)
Knopf (Inheritance, His Dark Materials, The Book Thief)
Scholastic (Hunger Games, Maggie Stiefvater books)
Rosetta Books (Kurt Vonnegut, I Am Legend, Brave New World)
Disney Hyperion (Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl)
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:49 AM   #10
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I'm all for it, theoretically, but it seems like a lot of trouble when there are so many free and cheap books out there. My TBR list keeps growing without getting into lending/borrowing!

But, as I say, I think it's a great idea.
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Old 04-08-2012, 11:16 AM   #11
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I use Booklending.com mainly and also Books for My eReader and currently have approx. 300 eBooks up for loan on the first one. Mostly these are eBooks that were free at one point or another. It seems like all the people wanting/waiting for my books are those that want to borrow lots of titles and don't bother posting ANY books to lend to others.
I personally have quit lending to borrowers who have not bothered to list anything. These days it is so easy to find free books to loan to others that they are just being lazy.
Most of the people borrowing from outside the US don't check to see if they can actually buy the book from their Amazon. ( A requisite for actually borrowing the book in their country. If it isn't for sale, they can't borrow it)

So many of my books were sitting in pending after being loaned to someone who requested the book and then coming back after 7 days because the borrowers weren't actually taking the loan. That is when I started being more careful on choosing the people I want to loan to.

I really feel that the two sites I use for borrowing are slowly losing active members. At some point I do feel that they may fold.

These are all my own opinions and lending methods. Probably will make some people angry. Oh well.
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Old 04-08-2012, 01:55 PM   #12
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on Booklending.com

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So many of my books were sitting in pending after being loaned to someone who requested the book and then coming back after 7 days because the borrowers weren't actually taking the loan.
I agree, lately this has been happening to me too on Booklending.com. Because users don't have any credit limits, some people seem to just request books they aren't really interested in and don't even list books for loan. I haven't had this happen to me on Lendle or on eBookfling.

I have also started being suspicious of how Booklending.com calculates the priority on who gets a book that has many users requesting it. (When you list a book for lending that has many users, the site will give you a list of 3 names and you can pick who to lend it to.) According to this post, they suggest that you
Quote:
Lend More Books: The BookLending.com system is programmed to reward the “most engaged” community members with faster book loans.
I think that there's more to it than that, that not necessarily users that have lent more books have more priority.* I don't know what the other factors are (perhaps who requested a book first/how many books you have borrowed in the past), but I wish that this was something that was made clearer by the site.


*A friend of mine tried listing a book that I have requested to borrow and instead of getting my name, she got 3 names of users that had no books available for lending or far far less books for lend than I have (I have also successfully lent many books).
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:26 PM   #13
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andreabc,
Right now I have at least one book that is heavily requested and the top three names have stayed on this list for a month or so and they are all people with no books to lend and request lists varying from 8 to 18 books wanted. I might try today to delete the book from the lending list and then re-add it and see if it gets them off the top. One other book that I thought was very popular, has had the same name on it for a good two months.

Update: I just put the books back on and the list of the top three stayed and the other book had the guys name disappear. What is the name of the book that you are wanting that you don't seem to be able to get. The one I am having trouble with is Carrots with authors name of Colleen Helme.
Now I am having some glitch where I sign in and someone else's name and account profile is coming up. I wrote down all the information to see if I need to get hold of the people running Booklending.com. Maybe I have been blocked from my account.

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Old 04-08-2012, 08:58 PM   #14
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andreabc,
Right now I have at least one book that is heavily requested and the top three names have stayed on this list for a month or so and they are all people with no books to lend and request lists varying from 8 to 18 books wanted.

Update: I just put the books back on and the list of the top three stayed and the other book had the guys name disappear. What is the name of the book that you are wanting that you don't seem to be able to get. The one I am having trouble with is Carrots with authors name of Colleen Helme.
OK, I tried adding Carrots to lend and I also get the 3 users with 8 to 18 books wanted.

The book that I was trying to get is called Marcelo in the Real World, but we then tried with a couple of others and the same thing happened (the 3 users in the list that comes up had very few o no books for loan available). I think that the users that come up have either requested the book before I have (timing of the request) or maybe one gets more priority if you have borrowed fewer books (or something else is going on).

edited to add: So, I just got my brother to open a new account and request the book. Then, my friend here tried adding the book for lending and now the first of the 3 names is my brother (1 borrow request / 0 loans available). I think that this means that a new user that has barely "engaged" in the site at all is really the one that gets top priority. It's not that I think that newer members shouldn't have the chance to borrow books too, but I think that their statement that the system "is programmed to reward the “most engaged” community members with faster book loans" is deceiving.
This probably also explains why we keep being asked to lend books to users with no books to lend.

Last edited by andreabc; 04-08-2012 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:52 PM   #15
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I got a bunch of loan requests at booklending.com today and last night. I ignored most of them because they had no books to loan or were on my list for not accepting my books that were loaned in the past. The worst offender of the entire group was one that was requesting "243" titles and had "0" books to loan to others.
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