Google Play Store launches textbooks in time for fall semester

On July 24, we reported that Google would be adding textbooks to the Play Store some time this month, doing so in time for students to get their hands (er, tablets) on digital textbooks before the fall semester kicks off. As it turns out, today was that day, and the Google Play Store is now home to a nice array of educational ebooks.

At the time of the announcement, Google didn't go into too much detail about the number of textbooks it would be offering on Play, specifying only that the five big-name publishing houses would have textbooks offered on the service. As promised at the time, these digital books are being offered with discounts that go as high as 80-percent off.

Not surprisingly, the discount varies based on the textbook you need. After clicking on an item, its original price will be displayed next to the digital price, so buyers will be able to see what they'd end up paying for the paper version. Browsing through the site, we see some offerings that are very steeply discounted, such as a particular mathematics book. Others, however, such as The Sun Also Rises is only discounted by a little over $1.

In addition to seeing the original pricing, buyers can also check out free samples, which are displayed within the Play Store. As with apps, there's a description about the textbook and a series of user reviews, as well as an overall star rating. And for those who are digital window shopping, there's a Wishlist feature as well.

As far as how many books are being offered, the number is still unknown. A browse through the store shows quite a collection, however, spanning several categories: literature, computers + technology, math + science, business + economy, political science + philosophy, English, nursing, history, medical, law, education, engineering, psychology, foreign languages, and more.

SOURCE: Google Play Store