Google launched an ebook store of its own back in December, appropriately called the Google eBookstore. It's got tons of free stuff, but using it is kind of a pain on an e-reader — you download the titles to a PC first, then push them over. A new e-reader looking to compete with the cheaper Kindles and Nooks wants to change that.
Called the iriver Story HD — iriver, a company you may remember for its MP3 players back when MP3 players were actually relevant — the unit will be the first to plug directly into the Google eBookstore, and pull titles from there without the help of a meddling PC. That means access to a library Google touts as having 3 million free titles, as well as hundreds of thousands of paid books.
There's over 80 devices that currently accept Google's ebook format when transferred over from a PC, including the Nook family, as well as Sony's reader and the Kobo. None of these e-readers natively support the eBookstore, however, though if you've got a smartphone or tablet, you can just use the Google Books app to access the store, no problem.
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Look for the iriver Story HD this Sunday at Target or online for $140. For that, you get a Wi-Fi device with a gray and black screen that looks like it doesn't do much more than get you reading. Lots of buttons for your dollar, too! (For comparison, the ad-free Kindle Wi-Fi and the bare-bones Nook Touch are the same price.)