The £109 Paperwhite is Amazon’s first backlit Kindle to launch in the UK, and will ship on October 25 to customers who preorder it from today.
The Lending Library will mean up to one book per month can be borrowed from a selection of 200,000 and read free on all Kindles, Amazon said. Lending Library members must join Amazon’s premium delivery service, called Prime, for £49 per year. Only one book can be borrowed at a time, but existing Prime customer will get the additional service free.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and chief executive, said “We’re already seeing the programme’s success in the US for both readers and authors—customers are reading more and authors are reaching a whole new audience while making money in a new way.”
Amazon’s touchscreen Paperwhite offers a manually-adjusted backlight and higher definition than its predecessors. Like the Lending Library it has also already been launched in America. Its battery lasts for up to eight weeks and it is also available with a 3G connection for £169
Rival ereaders with backlights, such as the Nook Glowlight, have already launched in the UK, although reviewers in America, including at Wired and Engadget, have largely hailed the Paperwhite as the current market leader. Amazon’s cheapest Kindle, however, remains the £69 model, called simply the Kindle. The touchscreen version is £109 and a model with a keyboard costs £149.