Thursday, August 31, 2006

Google Book Search Goes Downloadable

Google unveiled its newest trick yesterday, announcing that out-of-copyright books available through its Book Search feature are now entirely downloadable (and hence printable) as PDF files. By selecting the "full view" radio button when you search books, you can limit your results to downloadable records.

I played around with this feature for a little while yesterday, and found that some titles look quite good in PDF form, but others are not nearly as clean-looking. It will be interesting to see the reaction from the bookselling and library communities to this feature (not to mention the publishers). Personally I'm a fan of open access to information, so I'm thrilled with this step and look forward to finding a few titles that have eluded me! (Also I quite enjoy that ones of the first examples Google offers is John Ferriar's 1809 poem The Bibliomania - an apt choice).

(h/t to just about everyone)