Amazon has outlined plans for a Kindle lending service for libraries in the Unites States, with consumers able to borrow books from 11,000 public libraries.
According to the company, the service should work on any version of its eReader hardware, as well as apps for Android, Windows and iOS phones and tablets.
The news comes as publishers battle growing eBook piracy, which some justify by blaming restrictive lending rules from the booking industry.
Amazon says the service would remember users’ history with books so that if they took notes or borrowed them again, their device would have a record of reading history.
"Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no," said Jay Marine, director of Amazon Kindle. "But we're extending our Whispersync technology so that you can highlight and add margin notes to Kindle books you check out from your local library.
"Your notes will not show up when the next patron checks out the book, but if you check out the book again, or subsequently buy it, your notes will be there just as you left them."
The service involved a deal with DRM specialist OverDrive, which has already developed systems for BlackBerry and iPad readers.
At this stage, there is no news on whether Amazon might bring the service to the UK’s libraries, with a spokesperson saying “we never discuss future plans”.