Google just announced that it is offering free downloads of one million public domain books in EPUB format through Google Books. EPUB format books are ideal for devices with smaller screens like mobile phones, e-ink readers etc.
EPUB is an open standard lightweight text-based digital book format, that can be optimized for the particular display device. This format allows the text to automatically reflow to the smaller screens. Google Says â€œEPUB is a free, open standard supported by a growing ecosystem of digital reading devices, works you download from Google Books as EPUBs won’t be tied to or locked into a particular device.â€
Public Domain works in simple terms are public property and available for anyone to use.
These EPUB books are created by scanning the physical book pages, and then they are processed using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to create a digital version of the physical book. Since these are generated using OCR technology one may find mistakes in those books because of the character recognition limitations. There are also PDF versions of the same books available if one wish to download those instead.
Go to Google Book search and starting searching for public domain books. For the books that are available for download you will see a â€œdownloadâ€ link on the right side of the Google page, clicking it will give you the option to download either in EPUB or PDF format.