By Lisa Carlin

Amazon has come up with a quite clever scheme to push its Amazon Prime subscriptions to users, and also chalk up Kindle sales in the process. The company has launched a new Kindle owners’ lending library, which lets Kindle users borrow a book once a month, and read it for as long as they like. The company is not charging anything extra for this added service. For end users, this means in effect they get a book free for every month – there is not much difference between owning a e-book and being able to borrow an e-book indefinitely. The lending library includes thousands of books, including over 100 current and former New York Times bestsellers.

Titles in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library come from a range of publishers under a variety of terms, says Amazon. For the vast majority of titles, Amazon has an agreement with publishers to include titles for a fixed fee. In some cases, Amazon is purchasing a title each time it is borrowed by a reader under standard wholesale terms as a no-risk trial.

Prime Subscribers pay a $79 yearly fee, and get a free two day shipping on purchases from Amazon. They also get access to free TV and movie streaming of titles from Amazon’s digital library. Standard shipping is free with Amazon, but standard shipping takes five to seven  days.

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(Lisa Carlin writes on gadgets and geeky things for techtaffy.com. She can be reached at [email protected])