Amazon’s Kindle may be one of the most popular digital book readers out there, but the Sony Reader and applications made for the Ipod and Iphone are close behind. In fact Sony recently struck a deal with Google in hopes of increasing sales as well as popularity. According to an article by the NY Times by the end of the week, Sony hopes to include roughly “a half million copyright-free books available for its Reader device.” By doing this, Sony is attempting to divert attention from the Kindle as well as invite new digital readers to its Reading device as oppose to Kindle or similar devices/applications.

This will certainly be a difficult task for Sony. Amazon currently has 250,000 books that are available for the Kindle (and that number continues to grow). Furthermore, titles that are available for the Kindle are “books people are most interested in reading, like new releases and best sellers.” Whereas Sony’s Reader, with the help of Google, will allow individuals to download free non-copyrighted material. The reason that these titles are non-copyrighted are due mainly to the fact that the books are old- or have been in print long enough to lose the copyright once associated with them. The titles add up to roughly 7 million books that will be available for FREE!

“The books available to Reader owners were written before 1923 and include classics like “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” by Mark Twain, and “The Awakening,” by Kate Chopin, as well as harder-to-find titles like “The Letters of Jane Austen.””

If you happen to like reading classics, then this will be great. However you won’t find any titles by Editorial Campana or Campanita books.  Google is working to increase the copyright-free materials. In the meantime, through the Google Book Search Program, books that are copyrighted will be visible only with either selected pages/text or only the first few pages. 

Once Google and Sony team up, will readers turn their attention to the Reader for classics (and maybe one day new releases/bestsellers)? Or will Kindle’s emphasis to provide new books and hot releases over-power Google and Amazon. Maybe in the end- neither will progress- applications made for computers and mobile devices may turn out to be what’s on the next page!

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