It quoted Jens Redmer, director of Google Book Search in Europe, speaking at 'Unbound', an invitation-only conference at the New York Public Library, saying: "We are working on a platform that will let publishers give readers full access to a book online." Redmer said that the project was likely to come to fruition "sooner rather than later".
The Times said the initiative would be part of Google's Book Search service and its partnership with publishers, which makes books searchable online. Readers are then linked to sites such as Amazon where they can buy a physical copy of the book.
The news immediately lead Sunday Times commentator, Bryan Appleyard to bemoan the fact that: "We are, it seems, about to lose physical contact with books, the primary experience and foundation of civilisation for the last 500 years."