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Google e-books site launches in Canada

A Sony PRS600 Touch e-reader is held up in front of an Apple iPad tablet computer. Photo credit: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

Google e-books launched in Canada on Tuesday.

The online store debuted  in the United States in December 2010, and competes with Amazon and Kobo.

Those with nearly any kind of tablet device can download books  –  for a fee  –  from the online store. The virtual books are cheaper than their physical counterparts, and it’s easy to carry several volumes at once.

Books can be stored online and read at any time and on virtually any device, thanks to cloud technology.

Google e-books is compatible with Android and Apple tablets as well as smartphones, PCs and compatible e-readers including the Kobo, Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Sony’s Reader.

However, it won’t work if you have an Amazon Kindle e-reader.

For its Canadian launch, Google partnered with publishers Random House, McClelland & Stewart, Douglas & McIntyre, House of Anansi and Dundurn for the launch, the company said on its website.

The Canadian site highlights Canadian content, including the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize finalists, Globe and Mail bestsellers, and a free ”Canadiana” section.

Have you made the switch to e-books? Or do you prefer a paperback? Let us know in the comments.