Sunday, March 25, 2007

Google Book Search

I haven't been paying much attention to the Google project involving the scanning of books from various university libraries, so it's been a while since I've checked to see what's now available. This morning I decided to take a look at the Google Book Search page and noticed something that had escaped my attention the last time I looked at the site. Google seems to have made available for downloading as Adobe Reader PDF files books that are not covered by copyright restrictions. It is simply a matter of searching for "Full view books" and clicking on the PDF button for a download in that format.

I quickly searched for "Civil War" books and found the memoirs of General John B. Gordon that were published in 1903. The download into Adobe Reader took less than a minute and I've already spent 30 minutes reading parts of this fascinating book.

This is probably the last thing that I need - more reading material for my TBR list - but it is an exciting thing for those who enjoy reading out-of-print material. If this particular book is any indication, the scanning process seems to be working well because I only noticed one slightly out-of-focus page in this book of over 500 pages. This will be great fun and, I'm afraid, very addictive.

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