Amazon's book reader launched last week to mixed reviews but personally, I agree with others who have said Kindle could be the iPod for books (unfortunately, minus the Apple design touch). In case you missed it, the Kindle which has been in development at Amazon for three years went on sale last week and sold out in less then six hours. Like the new Sony reader, it uses electronic paper that basically only uses power when loading a new page so when wireless networking is turned off the Kindle battery can go for a week between charges. Electronic paper is purely a reflective medium like paper and ink and doesn't require a backlight like transmissive media or TVs and monitors. You can download a book in a few minutes using the Sprint EVDO network at no additional fee.
There was a lot of grumbling in Amazon user reviews about the prices and restrictions but I'll bet the convenience and coolness of this 10 ounce electronic book will overcome most objections. The unit costs $400 and books cost $9.95. Sony is charging $300 for the reader but much more for books. If they weren't sold out this could be the ultimate holiday gift for the avid reader in your life.
Jeff Bezos on Charlie Rose - worth watching
BusinessWeek Article on Kindle