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search inside booooooooooks
February 14, 2005 6:04 AM   Subscribe

whoa again. Amazon introduced "Search inside the book" a while ago, but now the searchmasters are doing it.
posted by louigi (28 comments total)

 
Unlike Amazon, there's no registration required to use it. Just search for the author or book with Google's regular search. A hint: to see page 35, for example, search for the number 35 within the book...
posted by louigi at 6:04 AM on February 14, 2005


Google is the mega-Univac which makes our lives more and more awesome continually until it gains sentience and enslaves us all.

On the upside, when we need to find our keys to serve the Great Master Google, it'll already know where they are and point us to them immediately with but a thought.
posted by Saydur at 6:08 AM on February 14, 2005


Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful and then by selling the keys to access this information (the key words) we will allow corporations to direct unsuspecting users to where they told to go, instead of to where they really want to go.

the more successful google gets, the more valuable the yellow pages will become.
posted by three blind mice at 6:14 AM on February 14, 2005


Not compatible with Safari. Colour me unamused.

(I'm also unamused by other implications of this system, at least until I know more -- like, how it's going to affect the copyright holders.)
posted by cstross at 6:21 AM on February 14, 2005


I'm using it with Safari ... what version are you using?
In terms of copyright - well, I generally believe increasing people's access to copyright material tends to increase sales rather than decrease them. I would expect this to hold especially for print - most people would still rather hold a book than read off a screen, if only because of the kinds of situations people tend to read books in (in bed, on the bus, etc.).

In addition, their system is fairly restrictive. There's a maximum number of pages a user can look at in a given book (varying from publisher to publisher), apparently, so downloading whole books is difficult or impossible.
posted by louigi at 6:29 AM on February 14, 2005


This has been there for many months now. Results from books are pretty sparse. That will change, I suppose, when the library collections are put online.
posted by Gyan at 6:29 AM on February 14, 2005


Is this US only? Even when I force Google to go to .com instead of .co.uk it doesn't return anything. Even for "ecuador trekking".
posted by ninebelow at 6:53 AM on February 14, 2005


ninebelow, did you try "Jorge Luis Borges" or any of the other examples? You don't get book results for every search. "Ecuador trekking" doesn't give any.
posted by Axaxaxas Mlö at 6:59 AM on February 14, 2005


then by selling the keys to access this information (the key words) we will allow corporations to direct unsuspecting users to where they told to go, instead of to where they really want to go

Assuming you mean "big large" corporations, so far the opposite has been the case. Google Ads have allowed many small merchants in niche markets to target a national audience quite inexpensively. GoogleAds are really custom-made for the little guy.

For example, quoted in the NYTimes of Feb 4: Ask Ray Allen, a former ad agency executive who is now the president of American Meadows, a wildflower seed supplier in Williston, Vt. "I used to spend millions of dollars of other people's money on TV, radio and newspapers," Mr. Allen said. He now spends about $300 a day to buy search terms like "wildflower seeds" and "hummingbird garden" from Google and Overture to advertise his own company, reaching a national audience of potential customers. "Never in the history of media," he said, "has a small business been able to have that much reach."
posted by beagle at 7:06 AM on February 14, 2005


That's funny, though, ninebelow - I mean funny ha ha. (Axaxaxas Miö, in the first link Google's suggested search to show the utility of their tool is "books about Ecuador trekking", which to date only returns pages about this search service. Whoops!) But yeah, try some other authors. They don't have everything - depends on which publishers and libraries they have agreements with.
posted by louigi at 7:15 AM on February 14, 2005


Yeah, I tried Borges, Gogol and Heart Of Darkness - all the searches linked to in the FPP. Nothing.
posted by ninebelow at 7:22 AM on February 14, 2005


you can actually read the entire boko for free with this service. You get to see the first bunch of pages for free but if you search a sentence on the last page allowed, you can return to that page and see the next pages, then you can search a sentence the last page allowed, etc, etc...

Someone can technically write a bot to save the entire book like this.
posted by pez_LPhiE at 7:43 AM on February 14, 2005


The following searches yielded those pages: 1 2 3. When I link to them, do the books show up for you, ninebelow? If not, I suppose it's only available to certain regions. On the other hand, I'm in France and it's working for me ...
posted by louigi at 7:58 AM on February 14, 2005


Ah ha! Yes, that works. Whilst I had searched for borges and "jorge luis borges", only jorge luis borges returns the result and I hadn't tried that. Outsmarted by quote marks. Thanks for edumakating me, I can't wait till it works properly.
posted by ninebelow at 8:11 AM on February 14, 2005


If you're outside the US, in some countries google.com takes you to your localised page - just click on the "go to google.com" link, then try the search, and you'll get book results.
posted by ralphyk at 8:40 AM on February 14, 2005


ralphyk, see my first comment. And then my last comment.
posted by ninebelow at 8:45 AM on February 14, 2005


Make "book" the first word of your query and it will always give you book results.
e.g.
http://www.google.com/search?q=book+borges
posted by w0mbat at 8:45 AM on February 14, 2005


Hey, that's us!
posted by Asparagirl at 9:14 AM on February 14, 2005


ninebelow, I read all the comments - I was just adding something I've discovered, in case anyone was having the same trouble as me when searching.
posted by ralphyk at 9:31 AM on February 14, 2005


Dave Winer had some thought-provoking comments about Google's digitization project: "What if Microsoft were doing what Google is doing? Of course we wouldn't let them do it without a very serious and probably very shrill examination. Well, I'm telling you, Google today is as dangerous as Microsoft, and I wouldn't bet on their trustworthyness, not without a lot more light having been shed on this."
posted by longdaysjourney at 9:36 AM on February 14, 2005


"Someone can technically write a bot to save the entire book"

I'm pretty sure that, like Amazon, they watch for this. If they didn't it would be silly, and it would be easy to watch for and prevent.
posted by stbalbach at 9:46 AM on February 14, 2005


Thank you for using Google Print.

You have either reached a page that is unavailable for viewing or reached your viewing limit for this book.

Google protects works that are under copyright by restricting access to certain pages and restricting the number of pages you can view. You may continue to take advantage of Google Print by clicking on About this Book. Thank you for using Google Print.

posted by mrgrimm at 10:50 AM on February 14, 2005


pez_LPhiE: Someone can technically write a bot to save the entire book.

They sure can. Viewing restrictions don't mean much. Some new book warez group will simply stagger downloading across a week, using multiple access points.
posted by Gyan at 11:00 AM on February 14, 2005


Speaking of bots and harvesting pages, if you ever need to harvest page images from Amazon, search the source for
id='pageBack'
and you'll get the needed URL. It's saved me a trip to the library!
posted by Zurishaddai at 12:16 PM on February 14, 2005


In google print, search for the second

background-image:url

example.
posted by donth at 2:36 PM on February 14, 2005


If you're using Firefox, just bring up Tools->Page Info->Media, select the item and click the 'Save As' button.
posted by Gyan at 3:15 PM on February 14, 2005


This has been there for many months now.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:36 PM on February 14, 2005


Sorry for my snark, that was a good tangential point.
posted by ninebelow at 3:40 PM on February 14, 2005


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