Monday, September 01, 2008

If you're not using Google books "library," ...

... you're missing out.

I used to spend lots (too much) time hanging out at used bookstores. Way too much.

There is a library in my area that used to have a section in the back. Books they wanted to get rid of. 50 cents for hardbacks and 25 for paperbacks.

Some good, some bad, some garbage. But an occasional treasure.

For me: treasure is sometimes in the eye of the beholder.

Well, the bookstore changed owners. The new owners had the idea that they might want to make money with that back space. So they got rid of the 50 cents section.

I stopped going to that store. Partly because the treasures are already picked out. But part of it is that I can find vastly bigger treasures on Google.

Open a new window, and check this out, if you're not familiar with this.

Go to Google.

At the top of the page, click on "more."

A menu will drop down. Click "books." Then enter something you're interested in at the search window at the top. Anything you're interested in. This is an experiment.

With the next page, go to the blue line at the top, and click on "all books." A menu will drop down. Click "full view."

Voila. You now have access to readable books out of copyright that you can use. Find something you're interested in, and you can read the books at your leisure.

Now save the books that you're interested in. Click on a book you like. If you think you'd want to continue reading, add it to your library by going to the menu on the right, and clicking "add to my library."

I'm still not crazy about reading books on a computer screen. But some of these books are no longer in print, and it's really, really hard to find a copy. And if you find it, someone may want $150 (or whatever) for a copy. But you've got them here free.

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