Browse, skim, study your favorite nonfiction books more easily with Google Play

Have you ever had breakfast for dinner? Or checked the score of the big game before you watched it? Traditional ebook reading is great when you want to read books from start to finish—but what if you want to skim through recipes; jump between questions and answers, researching a topic; or read chapters out of order? Today we’re launching a new version of the Google Play Books app for Android phones and tablets with a redesigned reading experience that’s optimized for nonfiction books. This new reader lets you easily skim an entire book, browse all your notes and highlights, and quickly jump back and forth between different spots. And it’s still great for fiction ebook reading, too.

Imagine you’re cooking two recipes from the same cookbook— roast chicken and bruschetta from Around the Table. No problem. Take a peek at the new table of contents view to skip straight to the “Bountiful Tuscan Feast” chapter. Once you’ve found your recipes, you can easily jump between them using new Quick Bookmarks.


When you’re planning your next trip, pick up a Fodor’s travel guide and use Skim Mode to browse the whole book and get a sense of which destinations you want to be sure to visit. Bookmark your favorite spots for easy finding later.


If you’re a student, you can highlight text and take notes while you’re reading, then refer back to them later with Skim Mode—the perfect study buddy.

Of course, all the things you loved about Google Play Books before are still here:

  • Tap on any location name in a book to get a Geo Card with links to access Google Maps, Wikipedia or Web Search 
  • Tap and press on any word to look it up in the dictionary 
  • Select text to highlight in four colors, take notes or translate from any language 
  • Don’t lose your place! Your reading position is synchronized across all your devices: phone, tablet and web 

Ebook reading has always been great for getting lost in a well-crafted story (in the dark using night mode is my favorite!), but now it’s a good fit for any type of book. Visit the Google Play store to have a look for yourself—just add any free sample to your library to start reading. Plan a trip, prepare a meal, research a topic or study for an exam—we’ve got you covered with the new reader app for Google Play Books.

Posted by Scott Dougall, director of product management for Google Play Books 

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