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Old 08-27-2009, 02:52 PM   #1
joedevon
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Google releases 1 million public domain books in ePub format

Haven't seen a thread about it here, so hopefully I'm not reposting info...

http://booksearch.blogspot.com/2009/...ic-domain.html

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Over the years, we've heard a lot from people who've unearthed hidden treasures in Google Books: a crafter who uncovered a forgotten knitting technique, a family historian who discovered her ancestor once traveled the country with a dancing, roller-skating bear. The books they found were out of copyright and in the public domain, which meant they could read the full text and even download a PDF version of the book.

I'm excited to announce that starting today, Google Books will offer free downloads of these and more than one million more public domain books in an additional format, EPUB. By adding support for EPUB downloads, we're hoping to make these books more accessible by helping people around the world to find and read them in more places. More people are turning to new reading devices to access digital books, and many such phones, netbooks, and e-ink readers have smaller screens that don't readily render image-based PDF versions of the books we've scanned. EPUB is a lightweight text-based digital book format that allows the text to automatically conform (or "reflow") to these smaller screens. And because EPUB is a free, open standard supported by a growing ecosystem of digital reading devices, works you download from Google Books as EPUBs won't be tied to or locked into a particular device. We'll also continue to make available these books in the popular PDF format so you can see images of the pages just as they appear in the printed book.

To get started, just find any public domain book on Google Books and click on the Download button in the toolbar.
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:51 PM   #2
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1 million public domain titles? I'm not real savvy, but didn't think there would be that many???
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by PennyPie View Post
1 million public domain titles? I'm not real savvy, but didn't think there would be that many???
Generally speaking, the Google books are not good quality at all. OCR'd scans that haven't been proofread mostly. A lot of doubles, too. It is really tough to have an overview and I have never seen a comprehensive list or a search function that really worked.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:00 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by PennyPie View Post
1 million public domain titles? I'm not real savvy, but didn't think there would be that many???
Sure, look how many books are published per year:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Books_p...untry_per_year
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:10 PM   #5
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Thanks joedevon for the wikipedia link.
Slightly off-topic: Really interesting, not to say odd.
It appears that there are more titles published per year in the UK than in the States (206,000 and 172,000 respectively)!!
China appears logically at the third position.
Spain in the fifth position, far before France and Italy is also a surprise. I guess it has something to do with spanish speaking Latin America.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:19 PM   #6
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That's pretty cool, especially for people who just want to read on the monitor.

As for reading these books on your e-reader, you're probably better off getting open-copyright stuff from Manybooks, Feedbooks, or the Mobileread library, where they will be specifically formatted for the screen.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kostas View Post
It appears that there are more titles published per year in the UK than in the States (206,000 and 172,000 respectively)!!
Very odd. And I wonder what they mean by "published"--do they count Lulu.com entries? (Since their source is an article from 2006, I'm assuming not.)

I suspect someone was either working with incomplete data, or playing interesting number games. (That's aside from my belief that they're not counting books that are published without an ISBN; since I'd assume those are ignored in all markets, they balance out. There's no way to count how many self-made books are published each year.)

OTOH, it does strike me as frighteningly possible that US education has dropped to such a level that casual book-reading is rare enough to have severely depressed the marketplace. Hmm.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:26 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Teddman View Post
That's pretty cool, especially for people who just want to read on the monitor.

As for reading these books on your e-reader, you're probably better off getting open-copyright stuff from Manybooks, Feedbooks, or the Mobileread library, where they will be specifically formatted for the screen.
True, but people will likely reformat books from there to one of the venues you mention, so I think it's great news.
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
OTOH, it does strike me as frighteningly possible that US education has dropped to such a level that casual book-reading is rare enough to have severely depressed the marketplace. Hmm.
Although a european citizen, I wouldn't jump in such a conclusion...
After all, the data is supposed to concern "titles", not books...
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
it does strike me as frighteningly possible that US education has dropped to such a level that casual book-reading is rare enough to have severely depressed the marketplace. Hmm
Elfwreck....here's hoping that all the techno electronic gadgets might spur folks to come to find eBooks as something new & wonderful ...reading re-discovered?? Or are my rose colored glasses just a bit too rosy?
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:47 PM   #11
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aha. Google has done it again. trying to take another good step in the market.

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Old 08-27-2009, 11:22 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by PennyPie View Post
Elfwreck....here's hoping that all the techno electronic gadgets might spur folks to come to find eBooks as something new & wonderful ...reading re-discovered?? Or are my rose colored glasses just a bit too rosy?
I'd like to think so.

I'm afraid it's more likely that books will continue to fade, as blog posts and online forums become most people's sources for entertaining and informative text.

The programmer who can figure out how to let you give the URLs of a dozen or so blogs, and return a single ePub file with the most recent entry (with comments) in each, could make a mint off it. Charge $1 for a single use or $10-15 for a month's ability, with a free version available that only does up to 3 blog posts. (A diligent person could still get all their content that way, by making lots of little ePubs. Shrug. Anyone with that much free time on their hands, could pretty much build their own by going to the sites & copy/pasting into a document to convert.)
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Old 08-28-2009, 06:42 AM   #13
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See...I like reading STORIES...Blogs are something entirely different to me...but then again, I'm old school. I do waste some time 'tag surfing' for blogs in my fields of interest, but I don't count that as really part of my 'reading time'. (guess maybe it IS reading...duh!) Anyway...sorry for going OT.

Um...being lazy, but how many titles in the Gutenberg project so far?
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Old 08-28-2009, 07:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kostas View Post
Thanks joedevon for the wikipedia link.
Slightly off-topic: Really interesting, not to say odd.
It appears that there are more titles published per year in the UK than in the States (206,000 and 172,000 respectively)!!
China appears logically at the third position.
Spain in the fifth position, far before France and Italy is also a surprise. I guess it has something to do with spanish speaking Latin America.
It's interesting that Iceland is in top with titles per number of citizens**

1 to 227 for Iceland - 1 to 299 for UK

**You may prove me wrong - I didn't check *all* countries, only some, and then made an educated guess (and I knew they write and read a lot in Iceland)
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Old 08-28-2009, 05:54 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by PennyPie View Post
See...I like reading STORIES...Blogs are something entirely different to me...but then again, I'm old school. I do waste some time 'tag surfing' for blogs in my fields of interest, but I don't count that as really part of my 'reading time'. (guess maybe it IS reading...duh!) Anyway...sorry for going OT.

Um...being lazy, but how many titles in the Gutenberg project so far?
Gutenberg.org has around 30,000 titles.
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