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They have to be books that the publisher agrees can be loaned. Some Kindle and Nook books can be loaned. For the Kindle, you have to do it through the web site, have the book in your account, and you can then click the 'loan' button on the books main page and enter the other person's email address. They'd have to have a Kindle or Kindle program to be able to accept the loan and read the book. (One loan per book, for two weeks. Once it's loaned out once you can't loan it again.)
I'm not sure how the Nook system works with their loans.
AFAIK, you can't loan any Sony Bookstore books. Last I saw they didn't allow it. If that's changed, someone else can help, hopefully.
Strictly speaking, unless the books are listed as being loanable by the main publisher, and unless you're using that publisher's program, you can't. It's not legal to loan out any books you've purchased to anyone else. It's usually spelled out on the copyright page of the ebooks. The right's can't be transferred in any way.
Last Edited on: 3/6/11 7:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1