The Sunday Salon (Feb. 19): A review of ebookfling

The Sunday I’ve been a member of ebookfling since December, and though I haven’t used it all that much I really like it so far. Basically, it’s a website where you can lend and borrow ebooks with other people via the “lend” ability of Kindles and Nooks. As such, it only works with Kindles and Nooks (or Kindle/Nook apps) and their corresponding ebook formats and lending rules (two weeks to keep a borrowed book, can only lend each ebook once, can’t read a book you’ve lent to someone else while it’s being borrowed, etc.).

To borrow ebooks you need credits. You get credits from lending ebooks to other people, or from buying them for $2.99 per credit. I think that’s kind of a high price for a credit, especially since you don’t get to keep the book, but I suppose if you’re desperate to read a book it’s cheaper than buying a copy for yourself. (Maybe?) The easiest way to get credits is to just load a bunch of available-to-borrow ebooks to your account, and then wait for people to request them from you. I’ve got about 120 ebooks in my library at the moment, and I get about two borrow requests a week.

To request an ebook, you can either search for what you want or add books to your wishlist, which you can set to email you once a book is available. Once you request a book, the person you requested it from has about a day or so to agree to lend it to you. I’ve only requested one book so far (Those Who Hunt the Night) but it went very smoothly and I got it within a few hours of requesting it. Neat! From loaning books to other people I’ve noticed that you don’t learn anything about the person you’re lending the book to. The process is almost completely automated, and at the most I think you’d only see their username on ebookfling. Maybe their email, too.

The only downside to ebookfling is that there isn’t that much available in the way of mainstream/super popular books. The borrowability of an ebook is entirely dependent on the publisher, and most big name publishers don’t want people to lend out their ebooks for some reason. But there are some pretty good backlist titles available (which the authors have republished themselves) and if you like self-pub books there are plenty of those, too. Overall, I haven’t used ebookfling nearly as much as I’d like to use it, but I think it’s a great resource and especially handy for people who’re cheap like me.

Weekly Book Stats

Books read this week:
031. Five Tomorrows – Sarah A. Hoyt [rating: 3] e
032. Wolf Brother – Michelle Paver [rating: 3.5]
033. Fame Fatale – Wendy Holden [rating: TBD]

Books reviewed this week:
026. Shades of Simon Gray – Joyce McDonald [rating: 3]
027. The Wander Year: One Couple’s Journey Around the World – Mike McIntyre [rating: 3] e
028. Flawless – Lara Chapman [rating: 2] e
029. A Drowned Maiden’s Hair – Laura Amy Schlitz [rating: 4.5] e

Books acquired this week:

Currently reading:
I’m about 35% into After the Snow, but it’s not exactly what I feel like reading at the moment so I think I’m switching to Dust by Arthur Slade. I’ve been meaning to read it for forever and since I recently bought it (for cheap!) I figure now would be a good time to do that.

8 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon (Feb. 19): A review of ebookfling”

  1. I’ve only used ebookfling a couple of times, since most Kindle books can only be lent out if you’re in the US, but I do like the idea of it. I recently borrowed one e-book-only title I’d been keen to read, and I was able to lend another to someone. I expect I’ll use it a lot more when and if Kindle (or more publishers?) opens lending up to non-USians.

  2. “most big name publishers don’t want people to lend out their ebooks for some reason.”

    that and putting the price of an ebook higher than a paperback (I know the low price is because of the retailer and not the publisher but still…)

    1. Yup. I think ebooks should be priced like the new mass market paperbacks, really, not like discounted hardbacks. I’d buy of them if they were cheaper, haha!

    1. I suppose it’d be worth it if you could borrow ebooks that usually cost $9.99, but those sorts of ebooks generally aren’t available to borrow. Soooo.

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