Originally published: November 6, 2011
Last updated: December 20, 2011 - 7:23pm
The launch of Amazon’s new “lending library” feature through its Kindle devices this week means that another form of content or media — namely books — is becoming something that we rent or stream, Netflix-style, rather than owning a physical copy of. There are plenty of reasons to prefer renting or streaming over actual physical goods: It’s often cheaper, and you don’t have to lug around heavy books or CDs or DVDs everywhere, since your content is (theoretically at least) available anywhere. But there are also downsides to renting content; moving to a rental model changes our relationship to that content, and not always in a good way.
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