Kindle book gifting…how times have changed!

Kindle book gifting…how times have changed!

One of the big complaints in the first three years of the Kindle (the device was announced on November 19, 2007) was that Amazon didn’t give us a way to buy Kindle books for people not on our accounts.

After all, giving books is great! When there was a book I really loved in the p-book (paperbook) days, I would sometimes buy several extra copies of it…just so I had them to give to people. 🙂 Okay, yes, I was buying used copies, but still…

Let’s admit it: we not only want to share the joy that we had in reading a book, but sometimes…well, we think a particular book might be…let’s say, “good for someone’s personal development”. 😉 You know what I mean, I’m sure. 😉

Well, three years later, on November 19, 2010, Amazon enabled the gifting of Kindle books.

It’s easy to do: there is a button on the book’s Amazon product page that lets you give it as a gift. You enter the recipient’s e-mail address (it does not have to be the one associated with their Amazon account), add a message, and you can even choose which day you want it to arrive. That lets you take advantage of a sale price when it happens, and still schedule it to be delivered on a birthday or another gift-giving occasion. For more details, see the

There are some limitations. You can’t give a free book (it costs Amazon something to process the transaction…that might be part of it). The book you are gifting may not have been licensed for your recipient’s country…if that happens (or if they simply already have the book), they can request a gift card instead.

You can also have the gift sent to yourself, print it out, and wrap that. 🙂

So, yes, Amazon has made gifting of Kindle books easy.

This year, though, there is something even better!

They aren’t just enabling it…they are encouraging it…with a discount! For a select set of books, you can

Yep…twenty-six books (at time of writing) where you can buy the Kindle book as a gift, then buy the same book for yourself at half off!

For example, buy Brain Rules (which I reviewed early this year:
Review: Brain Rules) for $8.10 (at time of writing) for someone else, and then go back and buy it for yourself for $4.05.

The “how to” is linked above, but it’s not complicated as long as you follow the sequence (first gift for someone else, then go back and buy it for yourself). This is only for a “limited time”, though.

There are some good titles in here, including a Color Purple collection and a James Herriott collection.

Remember, your recipient does not have to have a Kindle…Kindle books can be read in a free Kindle reader app, too. 🙂

Sure, it’s better to give than to receive…but it’s also kind of nice to be able to do both. 😉

Things keep getting better! Enjoy!

Bonus: I thought I’d share with you the document we sent to our “guest Kindle” for the person who will be staying with us soon:


We love books! While you are staying in our home, we wanted to give you access to our Kindle library, and the easiest way to do that is with this guest Kindle. 🙂

Feel free to download books from the Cloud, and to read what you want. You can’t accidentally order anything, and removing a book from this device won’t hurt anything on the account. Don’t worry about removing books, though: after you leave, we’ll wipe everything off the device again.

We think you’ll find the Paperwhite easy to use. Generally, “long press” (hold your finger on it for about a second) something to get more options. The menu icon is three horizontal lines, and you can use a magnifying glass icon to search for something. You don’t need to turn it off: just closing the cover will make it “sleep”.

If you have any questions, please ask!


I created a Collection with that person’s name on it, and preceded the title of it with three “A”s so it would alphabetize to the top when sorted by Collections. If it was for me, it would be, “AAA Bufo, please read”. That way, we can use the same document for other people…we’ll just delete the Collection each time. This document is the only thing in that Collection.

For more information about guest Kindles, see:

A Kindle for the guest room

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

4 Responses to “Kindle book gifting…how times have changed!”

  1. Draegi Says:

    V. jealous, Still no gifting or lending in the UK! None of our public libraries have been able to get kindle-compatible books either, amazon needs to watch it’s back!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Draegi!

      I’m not quite sure who would be coming up behind Amazon in these areas. I don’t think Kobo does gifting…gift cards, I think, but not gift e-books. Barnes & Noble does gifting, but are they really competitive with Amazon in the UK? If Amazon looks behind it (in terms of giving e-books as gifts in the UK), who is gaining on them? 🙂

  2. Tonino Says:

    I guess Amazon US is the only one allowing gifts,,,
    Can’t wait to get it here in Spain!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tonino!

      Well, I’m sure Amazon would like to make Kindle book gifting available everywhere. I’m not sure what the complications are: it could have to do with licensing from the publishers, perhaps, or there might be some sort of legal barriers (I can see how it could be seen as unsolicited commercial e-mail when you get the gift e-mail from Amazon). I think you’ll have the option eventually…virtual fingers crossed!

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