PITTSBURGH (CBS) – Nooks, Kindles, iPads – book lovers everywhere have turned a page when it comes to the way they read. In fact, a group of ladies created a high-tech book club.
“We all loved reading; we’re all very into technology and it just seemed like a natural fit,” says Elizabeth Dawson.
But Dawson found one drawback to e-reading.
“You know, books can be expensive,” she said.
It’s also not as easy to pass around your old books.
Amazon lets you borrow e-books for two weeks from friends who use Kindle.
“You just have to have their e-mail address and you can only lend the book once,” says Dawson.
Nook users have a similar system. But unless your friends have extensive e-libraries, your choices are limited. That’s why the women were happy to try Lendle.
“I went and checked it out, I thought it was the greatest thing in the world,” says Lisa May.
It’s one of several sites that allows you to share e-books with strangers, and it’s free.
Already, online bookstores like Apple’s iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Borders and Amazon offer thousands of public domain and reference books for free, but if you’re looking for modern fare, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has also started to lend e-books.
“We’ve been offering them to the public since November last year and the usage has gone up exponentially,” said Amy Ergler, senior librarian at the main library in Oakland.
The process requires no actual visit to a local branch, except to get a library card.
“They just need a valid Allegheny County library card, and they can access them from our website and if they want to put them on a website, some kind of e-reader, they have to download them onto their computer and then transfer it over.”
Much like traditional books, the library holds a limited number of licenses on each edition. That typically means only one copy may be lent out at a time. The Carnegie Library offers renewals on e-books, but only if no one else has expressed interest in borrowing a particular one.
While many book lovers still prefer to hold an old-fashioned hardcover, Ergler says e-books do afford customers some added benefits.
“No overdue fees, no missing parts, no lost books, the dog can’t chew on it, it’s wonderful,” said said.