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Nexus 7 booksAlong with the announcement today of the new Nexus 7, Google said it will be making a play for a share of the e-textbook market.

The company plans to have textbooks available for sale or rent through the Google Play store, alongside its other offerings. Students renting a book will have it available for six months, which ends up being a little bit longer than a traditional school semester.

Google is partnering with Cengage Learning, Macmillian Higher Education, McGraw-Hill, Pearson and Wiley for the initial selection of books available in the Play store. The company hasn’t announced any titles, but said that the selection available to students would be “comprehensive.”

The textbooks are supposed to be available in August, just in time for the start of school.

This is a pretty clear play by Google to try and compete with Amazon’s near-stranglehold on the Android e-textbook market, as well as Apple’s textbook section of its iBookstore. Unlike Apple’s proprietary e-book marketplace, books offered through the Play store will be available on Android as well as on iOS through the Google Play iOS app.

Previously on GeekWire: Google’s new Nexus 7 tablet has faster processor, better screen, rear-facing 5MP camera

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