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Amazon is an interesting company, and it has found unique ways to compete with Apple and its full-featured iOS/iTunes ecosystem. One of these ways is via its Prime shipping service, which gives subscribers free two-day shipping on virtually everything in the Amazon online store for $80 a year. A while back, it added its Netflix-like Instant Videos offering as a perk of the Prime service. And now its adding Kindle eBook lending too.

"Kindle owners can now choose from thousands of books to borrow for free, including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers--as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates," a note on the company's home page reads. "No other e-reader or ebook store offers such a service."

As the company notes, the Kindle Owners' Lending Library features a wide array of popular titles, including Water for Elephants, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, and Fast Food Nation – plus award-winning novels such as The Finkler Question, motivational books like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, biographies and memoirs including Kitchen Confidential, and Pulitzer Prize-winning books like Guns, Germs, and Steel.

Of course, like any other content service, there's a lot of crap from people you've never heard of too. That's the nature of these things.

But I'm interested to see Amazon build out its Prime shipping service like this. No other company--Apple, Barnes & Noble, whatever--can combine a shipping service for physical goods with online services as Amazon is doing. It's a bizarre and interesting differentiator.

If you are a Kindle owner a Prime shipping subscriber as I am, check out the new Kindle Owners' Lending Library. Just the latest in a growing list of interesting new Amazon services.