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Amazon enables Kindle book gifting

In advance of the holiday season, Amazon says it's the first major bookstore to offer e-book gifting.

You can now gift a Kindle e-book to anyone with an e-mail address. Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

In a move that would seem logical but is apparently very tricky to pull off, Amazon has finally given its customers the capability to gift a Kindle book to someone. Amazon says it's the first major bookstore to offer the feature, and it kicks in just in time for the holiday season.

Amazon says customers can gift Kindle books to "anyone with an e-mail address--no Kindle required." As we've noted plenty of times before, you can read Kindle books on your computer or on a variety of mobile devices, including iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry and Android-based devices, by downloading Amazon's free Kindle app (Barnes & Noble and Kobo/Borders also offer free apps for mobile devices).

Obviously, this is a particularly nice feature for those looking for last-minute gifts since no shipping is required; the book simply appears in the gift receiver's e-mail inbox. Of course, you lose all the fun of unwrapping your gift, but maybe Amazon has--or will--come up with a digital gift-wrap option. For more information on the process, Amazon says go here.

Note: we checked into what happens if you gift someone a book they already have. Amazon allows you to exchange the book for a gift card with the same value as the book.