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Old 08-19-2006, 12:06 PM   #1
Bob Russell
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Google Book Search to search full-text books online

Did you know that you can search for books using Google? Yes, there is the standard method of finding anything... just go to www.Google.com and type in what you want to find.

Targeted specifically at books, and searching the full text within them, you can also use Google Book Search. In fact, some books can even be viewed in full online.

The books come from two sources: The first is publishers who are willing to show a limited number of pages online to publicize their books.

The second is by scanning libraries. Google says it is "[o]ur project to include the collections of a few libraries in Google Book Search and, like a card catalog, show you information about the book and in some cases a few snippets – a few sentences of your search term in context. We will show the full book when it is out of copyright."

As many books as Google is scanning, there are still many more not included, so it's not a perfect system in many ways. But if you are searching for a book with your favorite passage, it might just be another handy tool in your book hunt toolbox.
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Old 08-19-2006, 01:13 PM   #2
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I guess I should mention one more thing here. When I am looking for a book and have a title or author or ISBN, I invariably go to Amazon.com. And often buy from there also.

But there are a couple of things to remember about Amazon. First of all, they appear to be considering building a giant database with all your consumer preference info (based on a recent patent), and I'm sure that includes your book and product searches at Amazon. At some point, that info will be worth money, so if there's no legal protection, what would stop them from sharing your private info with another entity that has money? As far as I know, they haven't even promised to "do no evil"! ;-)

But more to a practical point, be aware that when you search for a book, and especially buy a book, Amazon seems to remember it in it's suggestions. So you might want to be especially careful when you are searching for or buying a book for a friend about pregnancy, marriage, divorce, death, your favorite health issue, kites, dogs, cats, or whatever. Once they think you like it, you'll never hear the end of it from them because they want to sell you more books like it (or similar to it), even if you are not interested. I guess it's no big deal, and I apologize to all the cat lovers out there, but to me it's a little annoying to keep getting recommendations for books about things like cats!
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