Back in December 2010, Google launched their ebook store to people in the US, and since then I’ve been hoping they would expand this eBook store to other markets, primarily Australia. Now it seems there is ‘movement at the station’ because on Thursday last week, Google expanded access to the eBook store to users in the UK. More exciting (to me anyway) is in the story from they have advised ‘English-language markets such as Australia and Canada to follow soon’ and are also looking to expand into the rest of Europe next year. More info after the break

Google is offering users in the UK access to 2 million public domain books and a ‘hundreds of thousands of commercially available books’, these are all stored in the cloud, which allows you to access your eBooks across multiple platforms including Smart Phones & Tablets(iOS and Android apps are available), almost any web connected devices and existing eReaders which supports Adobe Digital Editions. Google have kindly provided how-to’s on the Google Books site which show how to convert them for your eReader(Note: Google eBooks are not currently compatible with the Kindle). The advantage of the Google Books service is the ability to save your place in the book and pick up exactly where you left off on the next device you view the book on.

The only thing we are missing would be a dedicated hardware device, the iRiver HD Story was launched in the US and it offers access to the Google eBook store, I contacted iRiver Australia about the possibility of getting the this in Australia and they advised :

Unfortunately, at present, we are waiting on Google to actually announce a launch date of the Australian version of their book store.
Obviously, until we have this information, we can’t advise on the launch date of the Story HD for the Australian market.

So at this stage we’re still waiting for Google, but I kind of like the surprises we get from Google when they launch a service, so I’m happy to wait at this stage.

I’m a prolific reader with up to 3-4 books on the go at any one time, I’ve been using both the Kindle and Aldiko apps on my phone for a while but I love the idea of integrating another Google service on my Android device, which will then allow me to view the books however I want to. I just can’t wait for this, the sooner they can offer this the better

Here is the official introduction to Google books :