Amazon just upped the ante in the eBook reader wars by announcing a new benefit for Kindle owners with an Amazon Prime membership. It's called the "Kindle Owners' Lending Library," which is, well, a lending library for Kindle owners who are currently or plan to become members of Amazon's $79/year Prime service. The online library gives Prime members access to over 5,000 books to borrow for free, including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers.
You can borrow up to one book a month, with no due dates. The offer is valid for Kindle owners, meaning you have to own a physical Kindle device, and not just a free Kindle app. There are directions on how to access the library from your Kindle or Kindle Fire here.
"We're working hard to continuously drive even more value for Kindle owners. We hope you enjoy the new library -- happy borrowing," Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO, wrote in a note on Amazon's website.
Prime members also receive free two-day shipping on millions of items and, more recently, unlimited instant streaming of nearly 13,000 movies and TV shows.
The unveiling comes just days ahead of Barnes & Nobles' press event in New York, in which many believe the competing bookworm chain will announce a new Nook Color device, possibly undercutting the Kindle Fire's price in the process.