to the guys at WSJ, eReader & Co might soon face a new challenge: Google. It is rumored that Google has approached at least one book publisher to measure interest in a program for consumers to "rent" an online copy of new books for a week.
While the exact shape of any rental approach by Google doesn't appear to be final, the current discussion with the publisher is a strong indication the Internet-search company plans to head in the digital book-renting direction. "Google Print is exploring new access models to help authors and publishers sell more books online, but we don't have anything to announce," a Google spokesman said.
Though before you indulge in that fantasy, note that the publisher said that at least for the beginning, books wouldn't be downloadable or printable; in other words, better get comfortable with your 24" computer screen sitting on your lap when you curl up on the couch with a glass of wine, a bowl of fruit, and a good book in mind.
[via ars technica