Google's eBookstore comes to Canada

Stefania Moretti, QMI Agency

Google Inc.'s eBookstore launched in Canada Tuesday, offering book lovers another place to buy digital copies for their smartphones, tablets, desktop computers and e-readers.

Google is offering nearly two million free e-books and hundreds of thousands of paid titles from publishers including Penguin, Random House and Harper Collins. They've also signed a number of major Canadian publishers such as House of Anansi, Dundurn, McGill Queens University Press, McClelland & Stewart and University of Toronto Press, and plan to sell some independent books.

Google's eBookstore rivals established e-book sellers such as Apple Inc.'s iTunes Bookstore,'s Kindle Store and Indigo's Kobo Books.

Google is hoping its cloud-based service will offer it a leg up on the competition. E-books bought through Google are stored on Internet servers, meaning readers can pick up where they left off from virtually anywhere with an Internet connection and from any device.

"Google believes Canadians should have access to the books they want, should be able to read books on the device they want and should be able to buy books from the bookstore they want," the Mountain View, Calif.-based company said in a press release.

Google e-books are compatible with Google Android-powered devices as well as the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Kobo, Sony and Nook e-readers.