Google Plots e-Book Version of iTunes

Google and some of the world's top publishers are working on a system that would allow readers to download entire books to their computers. The book would be read on the user's monitor or on mobile devices. Jens Redmer, director of Google Book Search in Europe, said: "We are working on a platform that will let publishers give readers full access to a book online." He did not believe taking books online would mean the end of the printed word but it would give readers more options when it came to buying. Commuters in Japan are already reading entire novels on their mobile phones.

Google's main competition will be Sony, which launched its digital book device with an online book store stocking 10,000 titles, and Amazon, the world's largest online book seller, which is planning an e-book service as well. The book initiative would be part of Google's Book Search service and would make books searchable online with publishers' approval. Currently, snippets of the book are available along with links for purchasing the physical copy of the book. Major publishers such as Penguin, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster are among those involved in the project. Google said the project was coming "sooner rather than later".

News source: Times Online

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