Our First Spat

Alas, the Kindle honeymoon is over.

No, he didn’t let me down. Didn’t stand me up or fail to be there when I needed him. And really, the love affair is still strong. I just discovered one of his flaws. Inevitable in every romance.

It turns out I can’t buy books for my Kindle-having friends.

I thought I could go to Amazon, buy several books for my friend Karen’s birthday and send them to her Kindle. Instant birthday present! She turned me onto the Kindle in the first place so it seemed good and right to do this.

But I can’t.

I can give her a gift certificate, says the Amazon guy. Or send her the hard copies. We can actually share registries and trade books. But I’m old-fashioned, and a writer to boot: I want the author to get her sale out of it. I don’t want to send a generic gift c, I want to send a specific book. A specific series, in fact. Giving a friend a book you love is a way of communicating, of sharing the experience. It’s a letter, written in someone else’s voice.

If Amazon wants to change how we read books, they’ll have to get a grip on this.

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