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Google Book Search goes mobile: 1.5 million free books

Mobile-device users can now search and read the entire texts of 1.5 million out-of-copyright books for free, following the launch of Google Book Search for handsets

Google has made the entire texts of 1.5 million out-of-copyright books available for searching and reading on mobile devices, entirely for free.

Books such as Oliver Twist, The Water Babies and everyone's favourite, The Mystical Presence: A Vindication of the Reformed or Calvinistic Doctrine of the Holy Eucharist, are accessible on any mobile device, thanks to Google's painstaking mission to scan, index and make available millions of public literary works.

Each book has been formatted to work best on the iPhone and handsets running Google's mobile operating system, Android. In our testing, the results were impressive. Ten pages' worth of text are loaded on one page on your device's screen. Text is clear and on the iPhone can be viewed in landscape orientation, but zooming is not possible -- something visually impaired users may resent.

The launch of the free service comes just days before Amazon is expected to unveil the follow-up to its Kindle ebook reader, which, although not available in the UK yet, has been very successful in the US.

Try out the Google Book Search mobile service at this address.  

Would you read classic works on your iPhone? Or will this purely be a tool for students and researchers to find quotes on the movie? Let us know in the comments below.