Online retailer Amazon.com has unveiled "two innovative programmes" to allow readers to access parts of books rather than buying the complete work.
Amazon will allow customers to buy only what they want in a book
It says Amazon Pages will let customers purchase online "just the pages needed" be it a section or chapter, while still offering the whole book up for sale.
And a second scheme, called Amazon Upgrade, will also allow online access to those buying a hard copy of a book.
Last week Amazon said it faced a bleak holiday period of slowing sales growth.
Amazon said the new programmes build on technology which allows customers to search inside a book before buying it, and should help make books available at "any time and any where".
Its new schemes come as internet search Google announced the launch of a virtual library, allowing online access to millions of "public access" books from major libraries.
Text of these works - which are out of copyright - are being put online by the search giant's digitisation project. The text will be searchable and users will be able to save images of pages.
Meanwhile, announcing its Pages scheme, Amazon.com said it would allow people to buy only the relevant bits they needed from books.
"Amazon Pages and Amazon Upgrade leverage Amazon's existing Search Inside the Book technology to give customers unusual flexibility in how they buy and read books," said Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon.com.