Have you stayed away from the whole eBook thing because you like to lend and borrow books?  Well, now you can knock that excuse off your list.  Both Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook have lending capabilities!

The Nook apparently has what they call the their LendMeTM technology since they launched though I have to admit I just learned about it.  And Amazon just announced their new lending functionality last week.  Looks like Nook is giving Amazon a run for their money with the new NookColor, and they thought they’d better step up and compete on the lending front.

Both programs have some limitations – you can only lend a book for 14 days to one person and while it’s on loan, you (the original owner) can’t access it.  That was probably the only way the publishers would even be remotely be okay with the whole thing.

If you were thinking about a Sony Reader – they have a program too – and are set to help you borrow books from your local library, so you don’t have to mooch from your friends.

Oh – and there’s more good news.  You don’t have to actually own a Kindle or Nook to use the lending functionality, you can use the free downloadable apps just as easily.

Wondering why you haven’t heard much about this?  I’m guessing it’s because the publishers and booksellers would really rather you buy the books!  Makes sense to me.

So what do you think?  Does this tip the scales for you? Are you going to run out and buy one of these snazzy new toys?  I gotta admit, I am really close!  Now I just have to decide which one to buy!

— Dana Barrett, Editor