Google, the search-engine kingpin, is introducing a program called Google Print for book publishers who want to let users sample their books, the Wall Street Journal said.
The move pits Google against a similar effort by Amazon.com called Search Inside the Book, which lets shoppers sample from more than 100,000 books as an enticement to make a purchase.
The race to make books as searchable as other forms of content is creating one of the more closely watched rivalries in the Internet business.
This is just a example of how once discreet markets are breaking down, leading to more spirited competition. the Journal said.
"Google, Yahoo, Amazon and eBay are on a collision course," says Bill Gross, chairman of venture-capital firm Idealab. "They're all stepping into each other's territory and it's going to lead to interesting battles."