I have been using Google Book Search nearly every day since it was launched. Google is attempting to accomplish with printed text what they have done with the internet, which is to have every bit of information available at one’s fingertips. They still have a long way to go to reach this goal with Google Book Search, but it is becoming more useful and valuable every day. I have written about Google Book Search previously–you can read my last post here regarding this service. Here are some of their new features (this is from a recent list on the Official Google Blog):
- Zoom in on text and images. Here’s a cool full-page sketch of a ship from an 1898 book on steam navigation. Looking for something less dated? Perhaps this colorful page of a room from a book on interior design. Want a better look? You can now zoom in and out — just click on the and buttons. Play with it until you find a size you like.
- One book, one web page. No more reloads! In one-page mode (just click the button), pages appear one below the other, like a scroll of paper. For full-view books, there’s also a two-page mode () in which pages appear side by side, just like in a physical book (perfect for two-page images). In both modes, you’ll be able to use and to turn pages.
- Scroll, scroll, scroll your book… using the scrollbar or your mouse wheel, or by dragging (in most browsers, you’ll see a ). You can also use the keyboard (try the spacebar, page up, page down, and the arrow keys). Or you can click on a link in the table of contents or your search results to jump right to that page (like this photo from the 1906 book Geronimo’s Story of His Life).
- This page was made for reading. We’ve tried to tidy up the clutter to leave as much room as possible for what’s important — the book. We’ve put all the information about the book in a scrollable side menu. Still not enough room? You can put the screen in fullscreen mode with , so you can use the whole window for browsing. Try it with a nice illustrated book of Celtic fairy tales or, for some lighter reading, electromagnetic wave theory.
- More on this (and other) books. Find other books that interest you. Just click on “About this book” to find more books related to the book you’re reading. If the book How to Draw Comic Book Heroes and Villains interests you, you’ll probably like Comic Book Artist Collection, Vol. 1. We also revised our “About this book” page to provide better information for in-copyright books, from which you can just see short snippets or a limited preview.
- Explore citations and references. You can also find other books that refer to your book of interest. If scholarly works from Google Scholar have references to the book, you’ll see them too. As an example, see what other works have referred to Aristotle’s works or the 1922 book All About Coffee.