February 23, 2013, 7:33 AM — As an avid reader, and an especially big fan of ebooks, I thought subscribing to Amazon Prime seemed like a good idea.
After all, the $79/year membership lets you check out one ebook per month from the Kindle Lending Library, which is rapidly approaching 300,000 titles.
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Just one problem: How in the heck do you find those titles? If you've ever gone searching for "Kindle Lending Library," you know that there's no such thing--not in your Web browser, anyway. Although Amazon lets you browse the collection on an actual Kindle, but there's no direct link to it anywhere on Amazon's site. Hassle!
Fortunately, reader Danner discovered that you can indeed browse the Lending Library in your browser; it just takes a little doing. Here's the process:
1. Point your browser to Amazon.com.
2. At the left edge of the search bar, click the little arrow next to All, then click Books.
3. At the other edge of the search bar, click Go.
4. Scroll down until you see Amazon Prime in the lefthand toolbar. Click the Prime Eligible box.
5. In the following page, in the Format area, click the header marked Kindle Edition.
Presto! Now you're looking at every single book Amazon lets you check out for free as part of your Prime membership. And from here you've got six sorting options via the drop-down "Sort by" box on the right. (Danner recommends choosing Most Reviews for the best results.)
I find it surprising Amazon makes you jump through these kinds of hoops to access Prime-eligible books, especially when it's so much easier to see Prime-eligible videos.
Of course, it would be great if Amazon expanded the library to include newer and more mainstream titles, too. Just adding it to the wish-list.
Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at firstname.lastname@example.org, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PCWorld Forums. Sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.