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Google eBooks Launch Means Cheap Kids Lit

google ebooks, ereader

Putting your kids' library in the cloud.

Lots of us parents have gotten used to tossing smart phones, iPads and iPod Touches into the backseat of the car in a desperate effort to get the kids to settle down and be quiet. That’s often meant launching videos or game apps. Though, sure, Robin tells us TV isn’t that bad for kids, shoving video and gaming content at them can start to feel dirty, especially if they already spent a morning watching in front of the tube.

Today, search engine giant Google launched Google eBooks, the latest repository of online books to go live.

Google says they have 3 million titles, some for-purchase, thousands for free, all of them residing in the cloud and accessible on whatever wi-fi device you have handy– Android, the Web, Nook and Sony, all the various Apple gadgetry. Except for Kindle. Google eBooks won’t work on Kindle (yikes!).

The books that aren’t in the public domain will cost, and early reports show the prices are competitive — if not slightly higher — than what you’d pay for Amazon Kindle. But what’s great for parents is, first glance, plenty of children’s picture books for less than $1 and others priced similarly to Scholastic book orders or Amazon.

Reading books on an electronic gadget still isn’t my favorite form of reading. But I’ve burned through a couple of classics on my iPod Touch and they’re not bad. My kids though, they love looking at books, even though the screen is way tinier than an actual book would be. I don’t know if it’s the novelty of reading on the device — or the fact that Mommy actually entrusted them with it — but whatever problems I have with online books are lost on them.

I’ve also been interested in getting my hands on children’s books in languages other than English and Spanish. While Amazon could do the trick, the cost of ordering and shipping from overseas is limiting. In 2011, when Google eBooks launches internationally, I’m thinking those searches will get easier and cheaper.

Of course, pop-up books will be a challenge for all ereaders. But nothing a pair of 3-D glasses and a few years of R&D won’t solve.

Do you snuggle up with your kids and an eReader? Do your kids like reading on electronic devices?

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