The Washington Post reports that Amazon has received approval for a patent to sell used e-books. I'm imagining publishers' heads exploding at the thought. What does it mean? How can you sell or buy a used e-book? We can pirate e-books and lend e-books (with the seller's permission), but selling used e-books is a new and intriguing concept. I can't wait to find out how it will work.
Meanwhile, another concept in e-books is slowly making its way to the readers. Imagine paying a monthly fee and reading all the e-books you want from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or some other provider. It seems to me that we are getting closer and closer to that dream of an all-you-can-read buffet.
Amazon Prime allows members to view all the videos they want from the Prime selection (currently at over 15,000 TV shows and movies) and Barnes & Noble allows Nook owners to read any book they want on their device for free while they connected to the in-store wi-fi (limited to one hour per day).
Amazon Prime members can also borrow a Kindle book each month, but the list of available books seems to be heavily tilted toward first novels and other self-published titles.
And now Amazon has a program called Kindle FreeTime which has a collection of videos, books, and apps for children. It costs a set amount per month for access to all the content (although parents can limit the content available to their child).
The next step is an all-you-can-read buffet in which you pay a monthly fee depending on how much you plan to read, say $20, then read all the ebooks you can from a list approved by the publishers. And that's the sticking point. I can't see the publishers signing off on this plan, but Amazon appears to be interested in the idea, and they have brought pressure to bear before. We shall see.