Thursday, November 03, 2005

Looking for a few good books

I don't usually blog at six a.m., but I didn't post anything yesterday. I'm not sure how my schedule got so out of whack, so I'm blaming my sister. Maybe tomorrow I'll slide back into my groove.

But here's something fun: This morning Google rolled out its new book search feature (which I discussed briefly the other day). Google says:
Google is helping to get the world's information online by bringing books themselves online. Whenever books in our Google Print index contain content that matches your search terms, you'll see links to those books under Book Results at the top of your search results page. Click on any book title and you'll see the page in that book which contains your search terms, as well as other information about the title. Click one of the links under "Buy this Book" and you'll go straight to a bookstore selling that book online.

I took the new feature for a spin by entering, "Call me Ishmael." Google doesn't appear to have scanned Moby Dick yet. So I tried, "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately." Nope, not Walden, either. Next I typed in, "Happy families are all alike." Nada. "It is a truth universally acknowledged." Still nothing.

I entered "books by Jane Austen" and found the Goog has scanned Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. Next I entered "books about aardvarks." Believe it or not, three are available for perusal on Google. Now I was really warming up. I entered, "books about all sorts of things" and found:
All Things Wise and Wonderful - by James Herriot - 432 pages

The Measure of All Things - by Ken Alder - 448 pages

All Things Bright and Beautiful - by James Herriot - 438 pages

Excited, I typed in, "books about life, the universe, and everything."

Nope. They haven't scanned any Douglas Adams yet.


Paul said...

Unfortunately, most of the public domain books aren't any of the ones most people will be searching for.

Brenda Coulter said...

Yeah. But it's a start, right?

I expect to use the feature quite a bit. When I want to quote something from an old novel, it'll be a lot faster to find the reference on Google rather than dragging a dusty book off my shelf and paging through it.