Congress, Washington Catches Kindle Mania

In a city that likes to be plugged in, Amazon's Kindles are catching on.

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

Those Amazon Kindle E-readers are popping up everywhere in Washington, a city that likes to be plugged in. Some lawmakers have been seen toting them around and reading local newspapers, books, and even legislation. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi uses one. Wyoming Sen. Michael Enzi "loves" his, says aide Elly Pickett. "He is a speed reader and goes through books very quickly, so being able to have 1,500 books at his fingertips at all times is great. He likes the Kindle so much he had his chief of staff get one too," says Pickett. Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley also has one to read newspapers and staff memos. And, of course, there's already been a Kindle-gate. A recent article in the New York Times implied that political consultant Shayna Englin wasn't paying for books shared by a friend. Authors attacked her, and Republicans made a fuss over it because her hubby, Democratic Virginia Del. David Englin, represents the Alexandria district, where the overseer of intellectual property theft—the United States Patent and Trademark Office—is headquartered. Turns out Amazon allows the sharing of books among up to six Kindles. One author, romance novelist Courtney Milan, even defended Englin in a blog and sent her a Kindle gift card.

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