Amazon's Lending Library: Damn Those Amazon Folk Are Good!

We often poke fun at some of the leaders in the retail space. But every now and then, it's only fair to point out true creativity. Amazon has a nasty habit of deploying really well thought-out efforts. On Wednesday (April 20), the E-tailer rolled out another of these "that's such an obvious idea, that no one delivered" moments. Amazon launched library lending for its Kindle books. That's not the cool part, though. No, these loaned literary lengths remember notes and pages you've looked at—and it will show them to you (and only to you) the next time you take them out.

The feature, which is slated to launch "later this year," will only work at some 11,000 U.S. libraries. "If a Kindle book is checked out again or that book is purchased from Amazon, all of a customer's annotations and bookmarks will be preserved," said Kindle Director Jay Marine. "Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we're extending our Whispersync technology so that you can highlight and add margin notes to Kindle books you check out from your local library. Your notes will not show up when the next patron checks out the book. But if you check out the book again, or subsequently buy it, your notes will be there just as you left them, perfectly Whispersynced." Every now and then, Amazon reminds us why it is still the E-Commerce leader.