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Thursday, March 19, 2009
Sony eBOOKSTORE Provides Access to Public Domain Books From Google

Starting today, The eBook Store from Sony will provide access to more than a half-million public domain books from Google optimized for current models of the Reader.

At Sony's eBook store (ebookstore.sony.com), a button on the front page leads to the books from Google, which people can transfer to their PRS-505 or PRS-700 Reader at no cost. The process is seamless for Reader owners who have an account at the store. Those new to the store will need to set up an account and download Sony's free eBook Library software. To start, people can access more than a half-million public domain books from Google, boosting the available titles from the eBook Store to more than 600,000.

"We have focused our efforts on offering an open platform and making it easy to find as much content as possible - from our store or others - whether that content is purchased, borrowed or free," said Steve Haber, president of the Digital Reading Business Division at Sony Electronics. "Working with Google, we can offer book lovers another avenue for free books while still providing a seamless experience from our store."

Books from Google will feature an extensive list of traditional favorites, including "The Awakening," "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," and "Black Beauty," as well as a number of items that can be more difficult for people to access. For example, literature lovers can find and read The Letters of Jane Austen in addition to "Sense and Sensibility" and "Emma." Also included are a number of titles in French, German, Italian, Spanish and other languages. People can search the full text of the collection, or they can browse by subject, author, or featured titles.

The Reader Digital Book's high-resolution electronic paper display delivers a realistic print look that rivals traditional paper and uses minimal power. A single battery charge provides up to 7,500 pages of continuous reading. The ease of changing font sizes can make every eBook a large print book and enables libraries to improve accessibility for patrons with poor vision.

In addition to electronic books, the current Reader models support multiple file formats for personal documents and music. You can easily transfer Adobe PDF documents with reflow capability, Microsoft Word documents, BBeB files and other text file formats to the Reader. The device can store and display EPUB files and work with Adobe Digital Editions software, opening it up to almost a limitless quantity of content.

There are two Reader models available, including the PRS-505 and the PRS-700. The PRS-505 model sells for about $300 and, starting today, the PRS-700 is available for about $350. Each comes complete with a USB cable, and a color-coordinated, protective soft cover.

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