Google goes epub

Starting today, google is making over one million public domain titles available in epub format. From the booksearch blog:

By adding support for EPUB downloads, we’re hoping to make these books more accessible by helping people around the world to find and read them in more places. More people are turning to new reading devices to access digital books, and many such phones, netbooks, and e-ink readers have smaller screens that don’t readily render image-based PDF versions of the books we’ve scanned. EPUB is a lightweight text-based digital book format that allows the text to automatically conform (or “reflow”) to these smaller screens. And because EPUB is a free, open standard supported by a growing ecosystem of digital reading devices, works you download from Google Books as EPUBs won’t be tied to or locked into a particular device. 

It looks like epub is rapidly becoming the mp3 equivalent for ebooks.

(via engadget)



2 comments so far

  1. Charlie on

    That’s great news. Hopefully within a year Epub will be universally accepted and we won’t have to mess around with so many formats.

    Good book search is still really poor. From what I can see there is no simple way to find those epub books. The first one I looked up was Dracula and that isn’t available for download at all.

    • rob on

      Here’s a link for Dracula w/ download:

      It’s easier if you include “author:” in your search and also select the “Full View Only” option in the results. I agree that Book Search is still pretty poor; there could at least be a “search public domain” or “search downloadable” option.

      There are some OCR issues in most of theirs, to get an idea of how the EPUB is going to look you should check the Plain Text preview. Gutenberg has EPUB downloads now too, which tend to be of better quality as — I presume — they have been converted from files that were entered by hand.

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