December 22, 2004

Google Print is Cool

Thanks to Mary Minow for blogging about Google's new library project, which is officially called Google Print.

To see it in action, try performing a regular Google search on a classic author. All of the following worked for me: William Blake, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe. Certain subjects will work also, such as English Literature.

You'll see "Book results for" with a cute icon of some colorful books on a shelf.

You are then led to a page somewhat like Amazon's "look inside the book." All you really get is a random look at a few pages, though, if the book is copyrighted. Not sure what good that does anyone.

I tried to find a book that might be available in its entirety but wasn't able to. I reasoned that some of the books available at Project Gutenberg might be likely to also show up on Google Print, but that wasn't the case. I couldn't find The Odyssey or A Christmas Carol. Then I decided to try Google's own example of a book in the public domain, but when I searched for "books and culture" nothing came up. Then I tried "Hamilton Wright Mabie" and it did come up. OK, now I'm hooked. By reverse engineering the URL and putting a high page number at the end I was able to verify that the whole darn book is in there.

What else can I say at this point except Google Print is Cool?

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