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Google throws down 3 million eBook gauntlet

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December 8, 2010

Google has launched a new eBookstore in the U.S. which offers a library of over 3 million ...

Google has launched a new eBookstore in the U.S. which offers a library of over 3 million titles

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It's been six years since Google announced its plan to digitize vast collections of literary works and make them available to view online. Now the search giant has launched a new eBookstore in the U.S. where users are able to get hold of more than three million digital titles, including the latest best sellers, recommended reads and lots and lots of classics. Google eBooks are compatible with numerous Internet-enabled devices and can also be read online via a free browser-based portal.

Since Google Books first launched in 2004, over 15 million works have been made digital, not just in the U.S. and not just in English. The project to make the information stored in the world's books accessible and useful online has digitized titles from over 100 countries in more than 400 languages. All of these will continue to be available via the Google Books page but a link to the newly launched eBookstore now also features.

Any Google eBookstore purchases - or free to read content such as Great Expectations and Gulliver's Travels - are stored in the cloud, hidden away behind a free password-protected account with unlimited storage.

Google offers automatic device syncing of titles you're currently (digitally) thumbing through, so if you read a chapter on an e-Reader in the morning but decide to pick up the trail on your smartphone's Android app or the eBooks Web Reader on your laptop at work, then the system will know where you left off and deliver the content from there.

However much you get through on your laptop will also be stored and when you take your Apple iOS device to bed for a few pages before sleep, you'll be presented with the story from the point you left it. Of course, for this to work, all of those devices will need access to the Internet but that's not really much of an issue in our modern, connected world.

In addition to grabbing new digital books from the new eBookstore, users can also purchase titles from participating members of the American Booksellers Association and store them in the same virtual library, alongside those bought from Google.

Google eBooks are compatible with a host of digital devices, including Apple's iPad, Sony's e-Readers and the Nook from Barnes & Noble.

There is one device that is conspicuously absent from the list of supported devices - Amazon's Kindle. Google has stated that it is open to supporting the devices but Amazon looks to be taking another route.

In a slightly adversarial move, the company has announced Kindle for the Web that will allow users to read the full Kindle books within a browser. Like Google's eBooks, the new Kindle portal will also allow the synchronization of the library across different devices.

Interestingly, Amazon has also stated that "Bookstores, authors, retailers, bloggers and other website owners will be able to offer Kindle books from their own sites, let their readers start enjoying the full text of these books instantly, and earn affiliate fees for doing so."

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
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1 Comment

One cannot help wondering if works originally written in standard English will be available as conceived by the author whether they will all be "translated" into American as seems to be required practice with printed material. Even books like "Harry Potter" do not feel quite right after such alteration. Actually it is quite insulting to American readers since it rather suggests that they might not understand traditional English.

professore
9th December, 2010 @ 07:57 am PST
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