Happy 10th Birthday, Google Play Books!
Reading books is for nerds, right? Well, that depends on your definition of "nerd," I suppose. While I must confess to not being a regular reader, I greatly admire those that are. Reading is surely a better way to spend time than mindlessly watching sports on TV -- something I am quite guilty of doing.
So no, reading is not for nerds, nor is it nerdy -- it is quite the respected hobby, actually. And thanks to technology, many folks now read eBooks -- paper books are so last century. While Amazon is likely the most popular company for selling digital books via Kindle, it should not be forgotten that Google does this as well. In fact, Google Play Books (the search giant's book store), is celebrating a 10th Birthday this week. Time really flies, eh?
"This week marks Google’s 10th year as a digital bookstore. On December 6, 2010, we launched Google eBooks in the U.S., so that people could read books on any device and with recommendations tailored to your interests. Since then, our bookstore -- now Google Play Books -- has expanded to more than 75 countries and our book catalog has grown to nearly 7 million titles," says Judy Chang, Senior Product Manager, Google Play Books.
Chang also says, "Over the years, we've used Google’s technology to expand our offerings and meet the needs of our readers and publishers. Bubble Zoom makes it easier to read comics on your phone by using machine learning to identify and expand speech bubbles. And, you can now access hundreds of thousands of audiobooks in our store, including a selection of free public domain audiobooks created with our auto-narration technology."
To celebrate a decade of Google Play Books, the search giant shares the top books for each of the last 10 years -- for fiction and non-fiction. You can see the lists below.
Top-selling fiction ebooks
- 2010: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
- 2011: The Help by Kathryn Stockett
- 2012: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- 2013: Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
- 2014: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- 2015: Grey by E. L. James
- 2016: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
- 2017: It by Stephen King
- 2018: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
- 2019: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
- 2020: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
Top-selling nonfiction ebooks
- 2010: Decision Points by George W. Bush
- 2011: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
- 2012: Moneyball by Michael Lewis
- 2013: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man by Steve Harvey
- 2014: Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell
- 2015: American Sniper by Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen, and Jim DeFelice
- 2016: 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse by JJ Smith
- 2017: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
- 2018: Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff
- 2019: Becoming by Michelle Obama
- 2020: A Promised Land by Barack Obama
Impressively, both Barack Obama and Michelle Obama -- arguably the greatest US President and First Lady of all time, respectively -- topped the non-fiction list these last two years. Tech fans will be pleased to see Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson represented as well. Rest in peace, Mr. Jobs.
Have you purchased any books from Google over the last decade? Please share your fondest memories in the comments below.
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