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Amazon conjures up rights to lend e-books of Harry Potter series

SAN FRANCISCO -- Amazon said Thursday it has signed a deal for the electronic books rights to all seven Harry Potter titles in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish for its Kindle lending library.

The deal allows subscribers of the Amazon Prime service, which requires an annual subscription, to borrow the electronic versions of best-selling J.K. Rowling books.

Amazon said it inked the exclusive license with J.K. Rowling's Pottermore website to make the titles available to its customers via the Kindle e-reader.

But the deal only allows for borrowing of the ebooks, with Pottermore remaining the only place to buy the electronic versions.

“We're absolutely delighted to have reached this agreement with Pottermore.”

“This is the kind of significant investment in the Kindle ecosystem that we'll continue to make on behalf of Kindle owners,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon's chief executive.

“Over a year, borrowing the Harry Potter books, plus a handful of additional titles, can alone be worth more than the US$79 cost of Prime or a Kindle. The Kindle Owners' Lending Library also has an innovative feature that's of great benefit for popular titles like Harry Potter — unlimited supply of each title — you never get put on a waiting list.”

The Amazon lending library has now grown to over 145,000 books that can be borrowed for free as frequently as once a month, with no due dates.

Books are borrowed to read on a Kindle device, and customers can have one book out at a time. When customers want to borrow a new book, any borrowed book can be returned from their device.

Rowling laid down her magic pen — and Harry's wand — when she finished the seventh and final Potter book in 2007, and since then the series has sold more than 450 million copies around the world in 74 languages.

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