Google to offer textbooks as e-books on Google Play store

July 24, 2013 at 7:53 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, July 24 (UPI) -- Google says students will be able to buy or rent textbooks from its Google Play store starting in August, just in time for the school year.

Users can access the books from a new channel for digital textbooks via the web, Android and iOS devices, Google said at an event in San Francisco Wednesday.

Google said it would offer a "comprehensive selection of titles" from five major publishing houses -- Pearson, Wiley, Macmillan Higher Education, McGuire-Hill and Engage Learning.

Textbooks can either be purchased or rented for about six months, although Google did not disclose any exact pricing information, Mashable reported.

"For just the cost of one new Nexus 7, you can buy that and rent all of your textbooks instead," Ellie Powers, Google Play product manager, said.

Google's Nexus 7 tablet prices are expected to start at $229 for a 16-gigabyte model.

"Instead of a 400 page doorstop, Google Play books brings you awesome new features like search, bookmarks, highlighting, notes and even night mode, so you don't wake your roommate," Powers said.

Google said it would offer a selection of textbooks from publishers in the store that will cover subjects like law, math and accounting.

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