Christmas gift. Not only has Amazon lowered the price of the Kindle*, but finally seems to be poised to allow book lending on a limited, but helpful scale.
This new feature of Kindle, while maintaining DRM, recognizes the human need to share books that have been enjoyed and/or found important. Not surprisingly, Amazon set up a few ground rules for its electronic version of lending: A book can be lent only for up to 14 days. A single book can only be lent once, and the lender cannot read the book while it is loaned out. Also, not all books may be loaned. It is up to the publisher or copyright holder to determine whether the title can be loaned out. [More]It remains to be seen how publishers react, but assuming most go along, this will make the device even more popular, especially among women, I would hazard. I know Jan will now be able to share books with her sister, to whom she has been sending hard copies. It also means we can share those rare books we both read.
Kindles are perfect grain cart/elevator-line/airport companions. Coupled with the new lower $139 price, I would put this at the top of my list of gifts to give.
*I recommend the Wi-Fi version for rural areas without great cell coverage. I order all my books on line anyway, so paying more for 3G is a waste. Downloading still takes about a minute either way.