We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Why can't you give a Kindle book as a gift in the UK? Only US customers get the Give as a Gift button

There's still no way for UK users to give Kindle ebooks to friends

Why can't you gift an Amazon Kindle book in the UK?

I originally wrote this article in March 2012, after being frustrated by the fact I couldn't buy a Kindle book for my wife's new Kindle eReader. Instead, I had to buy her an Amazon voucher and explain that it was for a particular book which I would have bought had I the option.

Now, it's November 2014 and Amazon has added new Kindles to its range such as the £59 touchscreen model, reviewed, and the expensive Voyage. Great, but there's still no option to buy ebooks for friends this Christmas.

No such limitations for our American cousins, though, as you can see plainly in the image above. The same ebook on Amazon's UK site lacks the Give as a Gift button, instead offering a drop-down menu so I can choose where to deliver the ebook (the list contains my iPad, iPhone, the Kindle Cloud Reader, and the various Kindle devices I've reviewed over the last few years). There's no way to add anyone else's Kindle to the list.

Why can't you gift an Amazon Kindle book in the UK?

What Amazon has done is to introduce the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, which allows Kindle owners (with an Amazon Prime membership) to borrow one book per month from a library of 600,000 titles. There's also Kindle Unlimited which lets you read as many books as you like for £7.99 per month. Audiobooks are included too, if you have a device which is capable of playing audiobooks.

Great, but why not allow UK customers to buy Kindle books as gifts? As many people have commented below, there's no sensible reason for this. Amazon has remained tight-lipped and won't give a reason, making it all the more frustrating. And the issue isn't limited to the UK. As far as I know, the ability to give a book as a gift is only possible for US customers.

It's an issue if you don't like giving gift cards or certificates, or don't want to because the recipient might choose to spend the voucher on something else. And it isn't quite the same to give a voucher with an accompanying note suggesting that the recipient spends it on a particular book because you think it will be 'right up their street'.

It's also confusing. It's very easy to buy a Kindle book and later realise it's locked to your account and therefore your Kindle. At least Amazon has made the processo of getting a refund on a Kindle book very simple. As soon as you hit the Buy button, you get a link for a refund in case you bought it accidentally.

Plus, you now have 14 rather than seven days to ask for a refund on any Kindle book. You can click the 'Manage your Kindle' link in your Amazon account to see this option.

IDG UK Sites

LG G4 Note UK release date and specification rumours: Samsung Galaxy Note 5 killer could be the LG 3......

IDG UK Sites

In defence of BlackBerrys

IDG UK Sites

Why we should reserve judgement on Apple ditching Helvetica in OS X/iOS for the Apple Watch's San...

IDG UK Sites

Retina 3.3GHz iMac 27in preview: Apple cuts £400 of price of Retina iMac with new model