Google opens a new chapter in e-books revolution

6 Dec 2010

Google has launched a new Google e-bookstore in the US and plans to launch in other countries during 2011. The new store boasts 3 million titles and the store is designed to be open to all devices, from netbooks to smartphones and e-readers.

The store also includes hundreds of thousands of books for sale from independent bookseller partners, including Powell’s, Alibris and participating members of the American Booksellers Association.

Using the new Google eBooks Web Reader, users can buy, store and read Google e-books in the cloud.

“That means you can access your e-books like you would messages in Gmail or photos in Picasa – using a free, password-protected Google account with unlimited e-books storage,” explained Abraham Murray, product manager, Google Books.

Web reader for Android and Apple devices

As well as it being a full-featured web reader, Google eBooks will be available as a free app for Android and Apple devices.

The reader allows users to pick which font, font size, day/night reading mode and line spacing suits them and pick up on the page they last read before switching off the device.

Google has digitised more than 15 million books from 35,000 publishers, 40 libraries and from 100 countries in 400 languages since it started Google Books in 2004.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years