The publishing industry is experiencing an new and booming business in e-books. According to Forrester Research, consumers spent $1 billion on e-books in 2010. That number is expected to triple by 2015. In the US there were about 10 million e-readers in circulation in 2010, triple that of 2009.
The two leading players in the e-reader market are Amazon (AMZN) with its Kindle and Barnes and Noble's (BKS) Nook. With these readers a single reader can use the reader or a friend can be added as long as they know each other's email, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Now another creative form of e-books is springing up. It is the lending of e-books. Sites like BookLending.com and Lendle now have thousands of members. These sites allow users to borrow and lend books from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The lending period is 14 days.
BookLending.com has about 16,000 users and has lent 20,000 titles. Users are encouraged to lend books to the site. If the book is not available, the user is referred to Amazon.
As you might guess, publishers are wary of this new trend. They say it discourages users to buy the books outright.
The only way to see if lending and borrowing e-books is for you is to try the system. It may or may not suit your needs.
Amazon is trading at $167.10, up 96 cents. Barnes & Noble is trading at $11.80, down 24 cents.