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More books on phones

Remember when cell phones were considered to be solely the accoutrements of inveterate workaholics? Well, people with eyes glued to their iPhones “ and other mobile devices “ now have a culturally legitimate excuse, with Google’s announcement that it is making some of the books it’s been digitizing available for free for cell phone users.

The Globe and Mail reports:

The Internet search leader announced today it is making more than 500,000 books already in the public domain available for free to smart-phone users through a mobile version of its Google Book Search website. Readers in the United States will have access to more than 1.5 million books through the service.

The new service will be compatible with Google’s G1 Android phone, the iPhone, and several phones from Nokia, the Globe reports.

However, there are still plenty of old fashioned types out there who are standing by their trusty e-readers. Here, the technology website Ars Technica weighs in on why the uptake for commercial e-books has been excruciatingly “ and yes, you guessed it, unjustly “ slow.