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28. Search Books with Google Book Search



Perform a Basic Google Search

Perform an Advanced Google Search

About Google Search Operators

About Power Searching Strategies

Google doesn't confine itself to enabling you to find information on the Webit has expanded into the book world as well. The Google Book Search service enables you to search for information in many books. It does this by scanning books, making them available online, letting you search through the contents of books, and showing you results. You won't be able to see the entire book, but you can see snippets from the book.


The Google Book Search project is a very controversial one. Google scans copyrighted and out-of-copyright books, which makes those books available online, without permission of the copyright holders. Google argues that it shows only snippets of the books, and that therefore, it can legally scan the books under "fair use" guidelines. A number of authors and publishers disagree, and both the Author's Guild and the Association of American Publishers sued Google, claiming copyright infringement. As this book went to press, the case had not yet been heard.

Every day, more books become available online. Google's ultimate plan is to make literally millions of books available online by scanning books from Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan, Oxford University, and the New York Public Library.

When you search in Google Book Search, the results you see vary somewhat according to the type of book from which the results come. If it's a book whose copyright has run out, you might be able to see the entire book. If the book is still copyrighted, you see only a snippet from the book. Depending on whether the copyright owner has made an agreement with Google, you might also be able to click a link to buy the book.

Search Books With Google Book Search

Go to Google Book Search

Get to the Google Book Search main page by going to

Search and Browse

Type a search term in the same way you type any other search term in Google. The results you see, though, look different. You see a list of books, including the covers, and information about each book, including its authors, total number of pages, and a brief list of the first several search results found in the book.

View the Results from a Book

Click the link to any book to see results from the book. You see the original page, with your search term or terms highlighted. In many instances, you are able to see the previous or next page by clicking the arrows at the top or bottom of the screen.

In many cases, you won't be able to copy and paste the information you find in the book because pages are often displayed as graphics rather than text. You can, however, print out the page using your browser's Print command.

For many books, you are able to click links to buy the book from a variety of sources. You might also find links to the book's table of contents, index, back cover, and similar information. The exact information of this type displayed for the book varies according to the information Google has been able to gather about the book, and whether Google has an agreement with the copyright holder.


Although you can search and browse without logging in, you must be signed in to your Google account to see the results from the book search. If you're not signed in, you come to a page that enables you to sign in.

See More Results

If other results for your search are within the book, you see a More results from this book link on the results page. Click it to see additional results. You can browse them and view them as you can any other search result.

Performed an Advanced Search

When you're searching for information from books, you can narrow your search using Google Book Search's Advanced Print Search feature. From the main Google Book Search page, click Advanced Book Search. You are able to search by title, author, publisher, and ISBN number (a number that uniquely identifies a book), and by using the usual Google Advanced Search features.

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