Get excited, students - textbooks are coming to the Play Store next month, so you can get gouged digitally rather than in your university book store. This morning at an event which also featured the new Nexus 7 and Chromkey, Google announced that you'll soon be able to get some of those gigantic hardback tomes in eBook form on the Play Store, and they will presumably be viewable through the existing Play Books app.

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Purchases and rentals alike will be supported, and the "Big 5" publishers - or as I like to call them, The One True Axis Of Evil - are all on board: Cengage Learning, McGraw Hill, Macmillan, Pearson, and Wiley.

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textbooks textbooks[4]

International availability of textbooks on the Play Store was not announced, and I would have a strong gut feeling this will launch as a US-only feature, at least initially. Be on the lookout for learning in the Play Store some time next month.

We're working on bringing textbooks to Google Play Books. We'll launch with a comprehensive catalog of higher education titles across science, mathematics, engineering, and more from all five major textbook publishers including Cengage, Wiley, Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Macmillan. You can purchase textbooks at full price or rent them for six months at up to 80% off. You can use all of the features of Google Play Books like search, bookmarks, highlights, notes, dictionary, Wikipedia lookups and night mode. And they are available across platforms on web and mobile.

This will be available in early August. Here are some of the top titles:

For Rent

For Sale

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • dtraini30

    As a college student, I am really excited for this.

    • http://tinyroar.com Cats-R-Friend

      I am also very excited for this, only draw back is if you have a class that allows you to bring a textbook in I doubt they would allow a tablet in

      • Mystery Man

        I just print pages when that happens. So hopefully this allows you to print pages

        • dtraini30

          Or screenshot + print :)

      • dtraini30

        Yeah I guess I'll find out! haha

      • Squiddles

        Just ask and find out. I approached my teachers at the end of the class and told them that I have a digital copy I could read on my phone. They said I could as long as I used it solely for reading the book and kept it on silent. Honor code and whatnot. Worked out really well since I could never forget my books!

      • Russell Walker

        Pretty much every professor I've had didn't have a problem with tablets or laptops. Digital textbooks are already pretty common.

    • Christopher Lee

      I can't say I really am, besides "lighter" textbooks. My first experience with electronic books was a fairly unmitigated disaster-- but to be fair, it was for a computer science text with precisely-aligned code.

    • Ryan Stewart

      If i was I might be excited but the real question is going to be pricing. Actual textbooks were not bad because you actually owned the thing and could sell it second-hand online and get half of your expense back.

      If they are going to gouge you for a digital version that has no secondhand market Id pass.

  • Logan

    Sweet - which means that all books I can't find as PDF's I'll be renting for (hopefully) cheaper than my college book store. Neat.

  • Vibrunazo

    Cool! Now universities have even more means to exploit students out of their money! The future!

  • Seth Muscarella

    Hey, sometimes they give you options to rent only certain chapters, and that's usually very worth it! Textbooks always gouge, but maybe this will drop prices and be much more convenient than current methods that exist.

  • http://jordanhotmann.com/ Jordan Hotmann

    I am in the process of moving and came across my box of old (4-8 years old) chemistry textbooks from college that are, for all intents and purposes, worthless. I would encourage any of you college people to rent textbooks if it's cheaper, because chances are that you will never open those books back up after the class is over.

    • Ryan Stewart

      You never resold? Most of mine were on ebay or a local online book trading site about 3 weeks before semester.

      • http://jordanhotmann.com/ Jordan Hotmann

        I kept my chemistry books because I thought I might need them in grad school...I did not. For other classes I resold but never got much money for them.

  • Nicholas Hrycun

    Makes me want to go back to school.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Updated the post with some better shots and a bunch more info.

  • KingRando

    Renting textbooks or buying the etext is a bigger scam than textbooks themselves. Buy a used copy on amazon and resell when the semester is over. Using this method I've broke even almost every time.

  • psmith720

    As a person who is part of the first school in the world (confirmed by Samsung and we are an elementary school) to go to a complete 1:1 ratio with the galaxy Note 10.1 this is great news!

  • Marcus

    Maybe instead of buying books this year I'll buy a 2013 Nexus 7 and rent the books on there.

  • robnelle

    I want to get excited about this. It has lots of potential. It will depend on implementation. I really hated Follett's CafeScribe system. Hard to read, and navigate and everything expires. I hope Google does a better job with it. I'm sure the publishers will do their damn'est to make it as restrictive and cumbersome as possible.

  • Truth

    You mean textbooks are coming to the US Play Store, eventually Canada and some parts of Europe, and the rest of us can go f*** off.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/108482452903817442299/posts Andrew Bone


  • Primalxconvoy

    Thing is, in places like Japan and probably other conservative places like schools, I suspect wiping out a tablet or smartphone, even to access textbooks, would be crowned upon.

  • RSerda

    already showing up on Play...

  • Alan

    My college gives me free ebook access anyway, so nothing for me here, moving on...