- Associated Press - Friday, November 19, 2010

SEATTLE (AP) - Amazon.com Inc. has begun allowing customers to give its Kindle e-books to others.

Before, customers could only give gift certificates to cover the cost of an e-book.

To receive a Kindle e-book gift, the recipient only needs an e-mail address, not necessarily a Kindle e-reader. Although the e-reader starts at $139 for a version that can wirelessly download content over Wi-Fi, Amazon also offers a number of free applications that can be used to read Kindle books on gadgets such as laptops, tablet computers and smart phones.

Amazon also reiterated that millions are reading Kindle books on the dedicated e-reader and on free apps. This still doesn’t give an indication of how many people have bought the Kindle _ something which the Seattle-based company has never given precise details about.

There are currently more than 725,000 books in Amazon’s Kindle Store.

Amazon shares rose 65 cents to close Friday at $164.82.

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