Not A Kindle Killer: Sony, Google Team Up For Free Old Books

One of the things we don’t love about Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle e-book reader: You have to buy an entire new library of books, even the ones you’ve bought on paper from Amazon. And even old books that aren’t covered under copyright.

So at first glance, it’s neat that Google (GOOG) and Sony (SNE) are teaming up to offer more than half a million public-domain books for the Sony Reader, such as “Sense and Sensibility” and “Emma.”

That’s cool. But unless you’re a classic lit major, it’s not going to get you to buy a Sony Reader instead of a Kindle.

What makes the Kindle better than the Sony Reader is its access to subsidized new-release books and a free wireless connection from Sprint Nextel (S) that works anywhere. (And neat extras like the Kindle Web browser and the Kindle iPhone app.) Google isn’t helping Sony with any of those.

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