A new ‘iBook’ from Google?

In Breaking News, IT, News on January 21, 2007 at 10:27 pm

Google is plotting to do for books what the iPod has done for music: make them purchasable by download to a portable access device. Could civilization as we know it be under threat?

The UK’s Times newspaper reported that “Google is working on a system that would allow readers to download entire books to their computers in a format that they could read on screen or on mobile devices such as a Blackberry.”

It quoted Jens Redmer, director of Google Book Search in Europe, speaking at ‘Unbound’, an invitation-only conference at the New York Public Library, saying: “We are working on a platform that will let publishers give readers full access to a book online.” Redmer said that the project was likely to come to fruition “sooner rather than later”.

The Times said the initiative would be part of Google’s Book Search service and its partnership with publishers, which makes books searchable online. Readers are then linked to sites such as Amazon where they can buy a physical copy of the book.

The news immediately lead Sunday Times commentator, Bryan Appleyard to bemoan the fact that: “We are, it seems, about to lose physical contact with books, the primary experience and foundation of civilization for the last 500 years.”

Read the full story from here.


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