As many of you may know, I am no longer a New Yorker, so please check out my new blog A Library of My Own. If you are just reading Life and Times, you are missing out. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Test Drive: Google Books

Sometimes when it's slow or I'm on break at work I will read old classics on Google Books. For instance, I read Jane Eyre on Google Books. How it works, I believe, is that Google got permission from various institutions, such as Stanford University, to scan and make available some of their books. This is a great idea!

However, they do have to be aware of copy-right laws so be aware that only older classics (think books written about 100 years ago) are available in Full-view only. There are a lot of books out there that you can preview a few pages though which is kind of nice. Anyway...I decided to show you what a Google Book looks like.

Here's a version of Jane Eyre. The book was published in 1890 and scanned. You can view a page at a time, or as a book like this:
You can zoom in or zoom out. You can word search (right now "Jane Eyre" is being searched and is highlighted). It's also kind of neat because it scans the whole book...cover, illustrations, everything. And every now and again you see something this:
Ha ha. Someone didn't move their hand fast enough. But it's also nice because in old editions you can find some great illustrations. For example, a 1920's version of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland:

Anyway...check out Google Books sometime when you are bored of browsing through the Internet.


  1. A couple of my titles are on Google Books, but only one (Night Watchman) has a preview. It doesn't bother me; I need all the publicity I can get!

  2. Looks very cool, but it uses Shockwave so I can't play with it. I didn't know anybody used Shockwave anymore!

  3. I love the illustrations for the Alice books! I'll have to check out google books--I'm just afraid that reading print like that on the screen might hurt my eyes a little (since using the computer more in the past couple of years--especially in grad school) I've noticed a big difference in my eye sight.

  4. Have you tried ? Not as pretty, but comes to your email.


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