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.
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……