Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Google Books

Recently I was listening to a book-on-ipod and felt like I wanted to read a bit of the book for myself. I didn't want to go to a library to check it out (too much effort) and I didn't want to buy it either. Pretty much, I just wanted to read the thing without having to move (call me lazy... I'm a victim of convenience). So I grabbed my trusty computer, pulled up Google, typed the book title in the search field, and there it was... a link to an online copy of the book, hosted by none other than Google. I am sure that many of you know of this feature, but I imagine there are many people that do not.

Google Books is an excellent resource for people that want to read an entire book or just parts. Google Books is not the only site out there to find online books. Many libraries are putting books online for our convenience. It is important to note that you typically cannot find complete versions of newer books. Most books are on the site, however, in a "limited preview" format. The site is still a Beta version because I'm sure they are working on getting it to the point where more books are completely accessible.

I'll tell you one thing though, it is very difficult to read for extended periods of time on the computer. The inherent problem with reading the computer screen is the fact that the monitor has a backlight. When you read a book normally, the words are lighted by the light in the area in which you are reading. It is much easier on the eyes to read a lighted surface than it is to read a back-lighted surface. Anyway, check out Google Books and see if you like it. I think its pretty fantastic.

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