By Olivia Snaije
Paris-based ActuaLitté is the first literary magazine to team up with Google Books’ online library in a non-exclusive partnership, offering readers the opportunity to download free books from a catalog of millions of rights-free publications scanned by Google.
Sinced it launched in 2004, Google Books has acquired more than 15 million books from over 40,000 publishers and 40 libraries around the world. Earlier this December amidst much fanfare, Google opened its palatial new headquarters in Paris, from which it will manage southern Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Faced with this massive online library, the advantage for ActuaLitté readers will be that editor and founder Nicolas Gary and his team will present a selection of books each week that will echo current news topics. Capitalizing on his knowledge of classics, Gary aims to present older texts that are complementary to goings-on today, hopefully offering literary perspective.
The library will be fully integrated into the ActuaLitté website, and readers will be able to download books for free in PDF and EPUB formats, without DRM.
Philippe Colombet, Director of Google Books in France, said: “With this partnership, we are at the heart of Google’s vocation to democratize access to literature and wider knowledge. Invaluable books will be rediscovered thanks to Google Books and the editorial content of ActuaLitté, which will offer users a new look at these works.”
In keeping with ActuaLitté’s home base, the first book to be presented will be Victor Hugo’s classic, Notre-Dame de Paris.