Google Books Goes Live

The much awaited and complained about Google Books appears to have gone live, says The Register.

This is a service which will allow you to earch for books and, if they are public domain, download them in PDF format. Which is nice.

For those who use Google (and who amongst us can say they don’t?), the frontend is familiar – it’s a standard Google search page.
Google Book Search

If you want a book that’s not public domain, you’ll get a “Limited Preview”, which means an excerpt. And you’ll need a Google Account to view the excerpt – if you have a GMail account, you’ll be able to see it. As long as you sign in using the account.

It’s a good service, I suppose, but I can’t help thinking I’ve seen it somewhere before… Oh yes, that’s right, Project Gutenberg. Though, to be fair, Gutenberg only covers the first bit – the public domain books. Gutenberg does, however, allow you to download the books in different formats.

My only real complaint about this is that although the beta service is live, Google never seem to want to integrate their searches. As with most of their more non-mainstream offerings, you have to search Google to find the search page. Why can’t they integrate all their offerings onto the front page?

Anyway, I went to the UK site because I’m a UK person, the US site (obviously) is also live, as are the French, Canadian and German sites. And I’m pretty sure that if Google has a main page for your country, the book search page will too.

Google’s onward march toward world domination continues……


Posted on 31 August, 2006, in Books, News. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the heads up! And it’s in “Beta” testing, as all Google’s other services are 😛 Hehe!

    I tried searching for “PHP”, but there are only “Limited previews” available for all the “good stuff.” I know of many free PHP tutorials which haven’t been indexed, so that search disappointed me..

    But it doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Let’s hope it improves!

  2. I have always used Amazon (.com) to search for books, as they have almost every book under the sun… And then to buy them, if they’re available in the UK 😉

    Hmm, I wonder if book sales will be what Google does next?

    Hah! That’d be the day 😛

  3. Oddly enough, I just dropped $118 dollars on – because the books I want won’t be out until November over here. Bloody Amazon and their easily accessible array of books [grumble grumble]

  4. Hehehe… The shipping costs are the only bad thing though 😉

    Bloody Amazon and their easily accessible array of books [grumble grumble]

    Too true! I spend WAY too much on books each month 😀

  5. Yup – I stay away from them for ages and then this book gets published and I’m sucked back in. 🙂

  6. I recall there being a panic from publishers/writers that Google would put every book on there and lose people revenue.

    Looks like a best of both worlds solution to me. It should grow and grow – it''s not that different to Amazon.

    Hmm, I wonder if book sales will be what Google does next? 😉

  7. I find it much easier to learn from books than from documentation or webpages on the internet 🙂

    What’s the book about? I couldn’t find any info on that page 😛

  8. Woah… Sounds like a good book! 😀

    I’ll buy it when it comes out in the UK… I have plenty of other books to read at the moment – haha! 😀

  9. I think it’s out in November over here – but you can preorder it for £6.59

  10. Neato burrito!

    Well, I visit Waterstones about every other weekend, so I’ll definitely see it when it comes out! 😀 There’s nothing more satisfying than buying a fresh, new book 😛


  11. Yeah – I dropped about a hundred quid at Waterstones the other day. Lots of books to read 😀

  12. Haha! Me too… TOO many. And with school coming up in a few days’ time, I won’t have time to read them all 😦

    Damn school 😛

  13. I know it’s a little off the books, but on the google theme. Ahem. Google will take over the world and everyone will be happy because they will index the roads, give out 2,000 dollars and provide a friendly user interface.

  14. St Jimmy – welcome to the site 🙂 I could certainly live with Google giving me money, as I’m sure, could everyone else 😉

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