With the Nook a no-show this year, the Amazon Kindle DX out of stock (thanks to earlier sellouts), and many other ebook readers in short supply, this year many adults will feel the pain that children know all too well: the dissatisfaction of opening up a rain check on Christmas morning. But it doesn't have to be this way, because you can read eBooks on many different devices. Even though these devices don't offer an e-ink screen, week-long battery life or the same portability of a traditional eBook reader, the good news is that you don't have to buy anything extra.

Below, you'll find out how to give an eBook on Christmas that your gift recipient can read that very day, even if your Nook or Kindle eBook reader won't arrive for weeks.

Amazon Kindle rain check ideas


While you can still get the Kindle 2, if your student or special someone prefers the larger screen of the DX there's no need to compromise. Assuming they have one of the following items, you can give them an Amazon gift certificate or buy them an eBook that they can start reading today and then pick up where they left off when their back-ordered Kindle arrives.

If you have an iPod Touch, iPhone or Windows PC then you can read any Kindle book right now using the free Kindle app. The same book will work on your Kindle DX when it arrives in 4-6 weeks. There is also support coming soon for the Mac and the Blackberry, but this support may not be available before Christmas.

Barnes and Noble Nook rain check ideas

Amazon isn't the only company that has a widespread reading solution available; Barnes and Noble currently offers the following apps for reading Barnes and Noble books on a device your gift recipient already owns. That's really good news considering some Nook purchasers have reported trouble canceling their Nook orders, even though the Nook may not ship until February.

The Barnes and Noble eReader app is available for the:
  • iPod/iPhone
  • BlackBerry
  • Windows PCs
  • Macs
All of these devices will provide you the ability to read an eBook that will also sync up with the Nook when it finally arrives. Don't forget to call Barnes and Noble if the Nook you bought was a gift; according to one source, they are offering $100 gift certificates for Barnes and Noble e-book purchases.

It's not the same as seeing someone open up a shiny eBook reader on Christmas morning, but a few eBooks and a link to the reader that works on their computer or phone sure beats gift-wrapping the poster-board cutout of the Nook you swiped from your local Barnes and Noble!

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