Its magical qualities were apparent almost immdediately, and after having used it on a daily basis ever since, I am now convinced that it is an example of Arthur C. Clarke's Third law:
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
If you enjoy reading books, then you will love the Kindle. The e-ink screen is easy on the eyes and the Kindle itself feels perfect in my hand, being the size and weight of a paperback book. It downloads new books in less than a minute--even a book as large as The Brother's Karamazov or The Count of Monte Cristo. It's internal memory has enough space to hold 1500 books; so far, I've only got about 79 on it. They take up much less physical space than they otherwise would.
I also have the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times delivered wirelessly every morning. No more lost newspapers, stolen newspapers or soggy newspapers. I actually prefer reading them on the Kindle to reading them in newsprint. The only downside is the lack of comics; but thankfully, the comics are available on the web at places like comics.com, so I can still keep up on my favorites.
If you get a Kindle as a gift, you'll be very happy with it if you like to read.