Books for all: Google offers full book downloads

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Mountain View (CA) - Google has begun offering full-text downloads of many older books. Google's Book search now has a "full view" option which lets people search for full-text books. Web surfers can flip through these one page at a time or they can download the books in PDF format. Google includes a copyright notice as the first page for downloaded books.

Complete downloads of the works of Shakespeare are currently offered, along with many older scientific texts. We did a quick search for Einstein and found that many of his books were available, including his famous Relativity: The Special and General Theory. Similar books from Newton and other renaissance era scientists were available as well.

According to Adam Mathes, Associate Product Manager of Google's Book Search, only older books that are out of copyright will be available for download.

Mathes wrote on his Blog that the current portfolio is "just the beginning" and promises to digitize more of the world's books.

Google and the University of California recently approved a book digitization project. The UC system will offer 600 books per day during the first 60 days and 3,000 books a day afterwards. At least 2.5 million books will be digitized during the project, Google said.