E-Book Seller: Google eBooks

Best For: Pretty much anything

Google Books, also known as Project Ocean, might not have the following of comparable online retailers (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, &c), but their rapidly-growing library might make you a fan. This is a service from Google Inc. That searches the full text of books and magazines that Google has scanned, converted to text, and stored in its digital database. The books are provided by publishers and authors, as well as through the Google Books Partner Program. As of 2015, there were over 25 million scanned book titles.

Google offers Android phone and tablet apps, iOS apps, and apps for Sony and Barnes and Noble’s Nook eReaders. The program also allows web access to the entire catalogue of literature for discounted rates or free, depending on the title. Readers should note that free book scans may have errors, such as unreadable, upside down, or incorrectly-ordered pages. Still—for a free reading service, Google is doing a great job.

This eBook option is great for both recreational readers and researchers; the program includes something called the Ngram Viewer, which is a connected service used to graph the frequency of word usage cross the book collection. This is an interesting tool for historians, linguists, and those studying Distant Reading. Google also partners with local bookstore and libraries to make book purchasing and borrowing available in brick-and-mortar locations.