Sony announced yesterday that it is linking up with Google to make 500,000 books available free to read on Sony’s hand-held Reader.
According to Sony these 500,000 free ebooks will increase the total number available to more than 600,000. The list will include classics such as Sense and Sensibility, plus ebooks in other European languages.
Public domain books, such as Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, are no longer protected by copyright, and can therefore be freely distributed.
Which? has first look reviews of the and the – two ebook readers available in the UK. The Sony Reader lets users read both ebooks and newspapers on a six-inch ‘eInk’ screen, is 8mm thick and capable of holding over 160 ebooks.
Google, Sony and Waterstone’s in partnership
Sony ebook Readers and ebooks, including the newly-announced 500,000 Google titles, are available through a tie-up with the Waterstone’s online store.
The Google Book Search project, which aims to create a vast archive of digital books, is available at books.google.com, and according to the website you can search ‘the full text of some seven million books’.
Google also recently announced it was making its book collection accessible on mobile devices such as the Apple iPhone.
Which? tech expert Al Warman said: ‘ebook readers are still a fairly niche item, but as more titles become available and prices fall, they are likely to become more mainstream.
‘The unique selling point of being able to take hundreds of ebooks with you in one pocketable device may prove extremely appealing to consumers. This link-up between Sony and Google is a great way for book-lovers to read classic titles.’
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