Google Opens Library to Smartphones

Do you read books? It's all right--I rarely do either. Like you, time is the biggest factor that keeps me from reading. And when I do have a bit of extra time (in a doctor's waiting room, on the bus, in the lavatory), I never have a book lying around.

So, short of investing in a man purse (or "murse"), how can I remedy this situation? One of the hottest solutions right now is Amazon's increasingly popular Kindle, a $359 e-book reader that offers a paper-like digital reading experience.

On the other hand, let's say I don't want to plunk down nearly 400 bucks plus the cost of each individual book, but I still want to read without turning in the proverbial man card and purchasing a flowery tote? Fortunately, Google is bringing mobile book search to smartphones. You can already gain access to 1.5 million public domain books for free if you have an iPhone or T-Mobile G1. Book search can also be an invaluable research tool, when you're looking for a nugget of information that isn't readily available. (When I used to work on a newsletter about slurry pumps for a client, book searches seemed to be the only way to find relevant information.)

Granted, the most people would prefer the latest best-seller to The Tale of Two Cities, but at least this should keep you safe from succumbing to "The Best And Worst Beach Bodies" the next time you go in for a root canal.

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