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Will New Kindle Spark Reading Craze?

Tuesday, 24 Mar 2009 | 5:52 PM ET

Turns out Tuesday could be remembered as a critical day in the history of publishing.

That’s because on Tuesday, Amazon released Kindle 2. As we told you back in February the gadget could be the next big thing in publishing -- and tech, too!.

What’s Kindle?

Essentially it's a digital reader that holds up to 1,500 books and newspapers and includes a "talk to me" feature that reads to you aloud.

If you’ve never heard of it – don’t worry. It was a niche thing until Oprah called it her favorite gadget back in October. Then, sales went through the roof. Now, some say it may overtake the iPhone as the next cult contraption.

The hope for literary lovers is that it sparks a renewed interest in reading; that Kindle not only makes obtaining your favorite books easier – but it actually makes you want to read more.

Sounds kind of 18th century but when the prototype first came out, CNBC Contributor David Pogue suggested it just might be as revolutionary as the Gutenberg printing press. (Okay he didn’t actually say that, but he really was very excited.)

Citi analyst Mark Mahaney is excited too. A self-proclaimed Kindle bull, he told us back in February that Kindle was on track to become a $1.2 billion business for Amazon by 2010.

Innovating Out Of Recession
Debating whether technology can innovate our way out of the downturn, with the Fast Money team and Mark Mahaney, Citigroup Internet analyst.

Wow, is there a trade here?

In February Mahaney told us not to get ahead of the trend; that he didn’t see a trade here for the next couple of quarters. And on Tuesday’s Fast Money he says much the same. “I’m not sure the Kindle can take the stock higher right now.”

"I have to say the Kindle looks like a disaster for Barnes & Noble ," muses Karen Finerman. "They could become about as relevant as the corner record store."

If you’re looking for a trade Mahaney suggests looking at Akamai, a firm that makes technology to deliver content . “I’m a buyer of Akamai,” he says

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Trader disclosure: On Mar. 24th, 2009, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Adami Owns (AGU), (C), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE), (BTU); Seymour Owns (MT), (BAC), (EEM), (FXI), (TTM), (BX); Finerman's Firm Owns (MSFT), (PBR), (RIG); Finerman's Firm Is Short (BBT), (WFC); Finerman's Firm Owns (DNA) Call Spread; Finerman's Firm Owns (WFC) Preferred; Najarian Owns (C) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (AGN) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (AAPL) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (BX) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (GS) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (GD) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (MS) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (POT) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (PALM) Stock & (PALM) Calls; Najarian Owns (TGT) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (XHB) Call Spread; Najarian Owns (SWY) Calls; Najarian Owns (MSFT) ; Najarian Owns (FIG)

For Mahaney:

Citigroup Global Markets Inc. or its affiliates beneficially owns 1% or more of any class of common equity securities of Priceline.Com Inc, WebMD Corp, Yahoo! Inc

Citigroup Global Markets Inc. or an affiliate received compensation Amazon.com Inc, Expedia Inc, Google Inc

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