Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What Do You Get When You Cross Google With GPO? GooooPo?

E-Readers are hot items at Christmas, and if you needed yet another reason to get one, here it is. You can buy government documents through Google's eBookstore. I can't wait!

Looking for new titles to stock your mobile reading device? How about a copy of the 2011 federal budget? Or a history of the space race?

Hundreds of federal publications are now available for download and purchase through the new Google eBookstore, the search engine giant and Government Printing Office are set to announce Tuesday. Ultimately about 1,800 government publications will be available for download and purchase, GPO said.

The partnership, which quietly launched last week, allows e-Book fans to search for and buy copies of documents ranging from the public papers of President Obama's administration to an official history of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Potential e-readers can purchase government titles online at prices lower than the print versions, the GPO said. A print copy of Obama's 2011 federal budget proposal costs $77.00, for example, but a Google eBook version sells for $9.99. (A PDF version of the document is free.)

Google began converting millions of books and documents into electronic format in 2004 and is bearing the costs of converting the government documents, GPO said.

The E-Reader I use (a Sony) can handle PDF documents, so I'll be able to e-read federal budget proposals free of charge. Lucky me!

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