Google is reportedly working on a plan that would allow consumers to download books to their computers to be read online or on mobile devices like BlackBerrys.
The Times of London reports that the program would be part of Google's Book Search project, which involves scanning and digitizing thousands of texts at libraries across the world. That project has had its share of controversy, as publishers and authors have charged it violates their copyrights.
The new program may be a sign that Google is willing to work with, instead of against publishers. According to the paper, after searching for and finding a snippet of text from a book online, consumers would be able to download the entire book.
"You may just want to rent a travel guide for the holiday or buy a chapter of a book. Ultimately, it will be the readers who decide how books are read," said Jens Redmer, director of Google Book Search in Europe. E-books have yet to take off in any significant way so far. Will Google be the magic elixir?