Amazon’s service also will be available through its free Kindle app on other handheld devices, such as the iPad and Android phones, among others.
It will not be a free-for-all, however, as library card holders will still have to wait for high-demand titles. For instance, at the New York Public Library, if a member orders an e-book, others wait on a list until that digital version is free again.
That list can get awfully long. Yesterday, the most popular title at the NYPL was Harlan Coben’s mystery novel “Caught,” with more than 275 people on the waiting list.
E-books do eliminate late fees, however, as loans expire after a given timeframe — usually three weeks. The Kindle also allows readers to take digital notes.
Amazon said the library option would launch this year, but it didn’t give a precise date.
Not all publishers are on board, however. HarperCollins, which like The Post, is owned by News Corp., has set a limit of 26 for the amount of times a digital version of one of its books can be borrowed before a library has to buy a new one. Simon & Schuster and Macmillan don’t participate in library e-lending.