Coolerbooks, Interead’s bookstore meant to correspond with the COOL-ER Reader, has gained 1 million public domain titles from Google Books. The COOL-ER Reader hasn’t received a whole lot of attention since it first came out, but this move greatly increases the size of its online library.
But more importantly, this makes Coolerbooks the latest Amazon competitor to team up with Google. While the Kindle library is limited to a (still fairly large) inventory of about 350,000 books, Barnes & Noble, Sony, and Coolerbooks all received that extra 1 million from Google. Sure, a large chunk of the million is old, obscure texts that few people are interested in, but the bookstores continue to taut the sheer volume of books.
It’s also interesting to note that, since Sony is embracing ePub, owners of COOL-ER Readers could always get the Google titles from Sony’s store and vice-versa. While these separate companies are competitors, they are becoming de facto allies in what’s almost a coordinated attack against the Kindle.
However, I have to doubt that Google Books will be responsible for the demise of the Kindle. These books are hardly the best sellers that drive the majority of sales. Also, who’s to say that Amazon can’t one day provide Google’s ePub books themselves?