Google's book search program will give publishers a new option to monetize their content: sell online access. Currently a very small part of the books indexed by Google can be read entirely and most are public domain books.
"With online access, users who discover a book through Google Book Search will be able to pay for immediate access to its full contents. (...) The book will be available to users only through their browser, and only when they've signed in with their personal account. Users cannot save a copy on their computer or copy pages from the book."
So you'll not actually buy a book (even in a digital format), you'll buy the right to read it online. As the price should be much smaller than for a PDF, this might be an option if you just need some information from a book.
Google doesn't think this system could be a substitute for book stores. "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," says Jens Redmer, from Google Europe.
1. What do you think it's the future of books?
2. Would you read books online?