Just ahead of the holiday shopping season, Amazon has enabled a new feature in its Kindle store: e-book gift giving. Amazon's customers will now be able to give Kindle books to anybody with an e-mail address, whether they are existing Kindle users or not. According to Amazon, the Kindle store is "the first major bookstore to offer eBook gifting," though as we reported yesterday, the Kobo store now also allows its users to purchase e-books as gifts.

Given that Amazon now makes Kindle apps for all major mobile platforms (iOS, Android and BlackBerry), as well as desktop apps for Mac and PC, the chance that you could give an e-book to somebody who doesn't have the ability to read it is pretty slim.

What About E-Book Lending?

More so than gift giving, we also hope that Amazon will soon allow users to lend e-books. Barnes & Noble's Nook already has this capability, and Sony Reader users can often lend e-books from their local libraries. The Kindle remains one of the more closed e-book ecosystems, though earlier this year, Amazon announced that it was definitely working on this feature, and the company's CEO Jeff Bezos told The New York Times that he thought current e-book lending schemes were too restrictive.