Google Reads
October 29, 2003 9:47 AM   Subscribe

The world's largest card file? "Google is in talks with several publishers to build a service that would allow Web surfers to search the full text of books online, according to a report this week from Publishers Weekly's online site."
posted by sierray (12 comments total)
Far be it for me to cry Sour Grapes when we're speaking of the Great Googly Moogly, but when Amazon gets it done already, why should we look other places?

Admittedly, it would be nice to have this feature without the obvious commercialization -- but Amazon's commercialization is a matter of convenience. If I want to look for books "similar" to what I'm viewing over Google's proposed index, will it be smart enough to match up subject matter, author, and content?
posted by thanotopsis at 9:53 AM on October 29, 2003 on the home page near the top of the left column there's a new and prominent Google search box.

Is there merger music between Amazon and Google if Amazon's new Look Inside The Book search feature is playing the tune.

Anyone know what's going on twixt these two?
posted by Dunvegan at 9:57 AM on October 29, 2003

when Amazon gets it done already, why should we look other places?

For the same reason that Information Please sits next to The World Almanac on your bookshelf. Healthy competition encourages the best out of businesses, with each alternative offering its own unique advantage.

Personally, I'd love to see a Mozilla-style open source project devoted to this type of search. Remove the business component and turn this idea into a pursuit of knowledge, rather than commerce. You might just be able to simmer down the Authors' Guild if you could convince them that it was more library-like in nature. Maybe.
posted by ed at 10:08 AM on October 29, 2003

That search box isn't so new. In April they did a deal which included that box as well as "sponsored links" on Amazon search result pages.

Personally, I highly doubt Google and Amazon will merge. I don't think Google would except a takeover offer from anyone short of God himself, and even that's questionable.
posted by dougb at 10:11 AM on October 29, 2003

Possibly even better is that Google is in talks with OCLC to put library holdings onto Google as well. If this is true this will be a boon to researchers. LISNews
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 10:27 AM on October 29, 2003

Google offering it means sites that sell books, but happen _not_ to be part of the Amazon juggernaut can offer the service.

That, in my humble opinion, is a Good Thing™.
posted by silusGROK at 11:39 AM on October 29, 2003

It will be kind of "fun" to see what demons and lawyers will be summoned when they'll sue each other for patent infringment ; bet Amazon will patent this new book thingie in a snap.
posted by elpapacito at 11:47 AM on October 29, 2003

I thought that Amazon (test case?) interface looked familiar.

posted by Twang at 2:08 PM on October 29, 2003

Wow, and when google gets a piece of worldcat, it may just develop sentience and start picking us off.

Good thing Arnie is governor of California, that's all I'm saying.
posted by Hildegarde at 2:23 PM on October 29, 2003

This seems like a cool idea - I just hope they make a separate 'book' tab instead of integrating w/ the regular old google search. At a certain point the 'catalog' of things to search will get so large that it will be prohibitive to sift through the results to find what you need. I already have this problem with Google, although maybe my problem is with the size of the web.
posted by drobot at 2:37 PM on October 29, 2003

drobot, I think a lot of people will need to learn more sophisticated searching techniques is the answer. For example searching on "needles" brings up everthing from sewing needles to drug needles. But searching on "needle -sewing" will exclude the sewing results. There are a lot of tricks like that to learn in Google that can narrow search results down pretty quick.
posted by stbalbach at 3:40 PM on October 29, 2003

Let's not forget the Million Book Project..
posted by IshmaelGraves at 5:54 AM on October 30, 2003

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