Amazon Launches Kindle Ebook Gifting

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Amazon has seemingly grown bored of waiting for people to actively adopt its Kindle ereading platform, and instead wants it to be foisted on unwitting gift recipients this holiday season. As of today it's possible to gift a Kindle ebook with nothing more than the recipient's email address.

The lucky recipient doesn't need to have a Kindle or one of Amazon's Kindle apps in order to receive the gift; however, they will need to either download an app or buy the ereader if they want to redeem it and actually read the book. Admittedly that's a free download if you have an iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, or BlackBerry or Android device.

We can understand why Amazon is doing this, and if you know someone who already uses the Kindle platform then it would probably even be preferable to a physical book, but pushing (at least) a download on someone in order to enjoy a present seems a bit unnecessary come Christmas day. A bit like not including the batteries, in fact.

Press Release:

For the First Time, Give the Gift of Kindle Books (No Kindle Required)

Kindle Store the first major bookstore to offer eBook gifting

SEATTLE – Nov. 19, 2010 – (NASDAQ: AMZN) – Kindle is the most gifted item in the history of and millions of people around the world are reading Kindle Books on Kindle devices and free Kindle apps. Beginning today, just in time for the holiday season, customers can give Kindle Books as gifts to anyone with an e-mail address—no Kindle required. Kindle Books can be read on Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps for iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry and Android-based devices. For more information or to give a Kindle Book as a gift, go to

"We are thrilled to make it easier than ever for our customers to give their favorite Kindle book to a friend or family member as a gift," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. "We're making this functionality available in time for the holidays to offer an easy, stress free holiday shopping option for anyone – not just Kindle owners."

To give a Kindle Book as a gift, customers simply choose a book in the Kindle Store, select "Give as a Gift" and send their gift to anyone with an email address. Notifications of Kindle Books gifts are delivered instantly via e-mail and the recipient redeems the gift in the Kindle Store to read on any Kindle or free Kindle app.

Just in time for holiday gift-giving, Amazon editors' picks for the best books of the year are:

1. "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot

2. "Faithful Place: A Novel" by Tana French

3. "Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War" by Karl Marlantes

4. "Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption" by Laura Hillenbrand

5. "The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration" by Isabel Wilkerson

6. "Freedom: A Novel" by Jonathan Franzen

7. "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" by Stieg Larsson

8. "To the End of the Land" by David Grossman

9. "Just Kids" by Patti Smith

10. "The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine" by Michael Lewis

With over 725,000 books, the U.S. Kindle Store ( has the largest selection of the most popular books that people want to read – including New York Times Bestsellers and New Releases from $9.99. Kindle lets you Buy Once, Read Everywhere – on Kindle, Kindle 3G, Kindle DX, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry and Android-based devices. Amazon's Whispersync technology syncs your place across devices, so you can pick up where you left off. With Kindle Worry-Free Archive, books you purchase from the Kindle Store are automatically backed up online in your Kindle library on Amazon where they can be re-downloaded wirelessly for free, anytime.