Google Booksearch Offers Free Book Downloads

Dennis Faas's picture

The world's bibliophiles have a new place to consume their daily intake of literature as Google Book Search now offers free book downloads available in PDF format.

The company announced last week that it will provide free PDF downloads of public domain classic out-of-copyright titles that users can view at their leisure.

Books that are being offered for download include all titles published before 1923 in the US, and feature such classics as Dante's "Inferno," Aesop's "Fables," Shakespeare's "Hamlet" and Ferriar's The "Bibliomania."

The PDF download carries a watermark that identifies the book's origins. Also included in the download is a page-long message that outlines usage guidelines. Google is asking users to use the downloaded books only for non-commercial purposes and to maintain the watermark present on each file. (Source:

A Useful Tool

Launched in 2005, Google Book Search has been a useful tool and an amazing resource for all, as it provides full access to books that were already out of copyright.

Until Wednesday, however, these books could only be viewed online, without the option to download. Google has collaborated with the New York Public Library, the University of Michigan, the University of California, Harvard, and Oxford to provide this search tool. (Source:

Google Defends the Project

Google is optimistic about the project, despite being targeted by two recent lawsuits from the Association of American Publishers and the Author's Guild accusing Google of copyright infringement.

Adam Mathes, associate product manager of Google Book Search demonstrates this optimism: "As we digitize more of the world's books -- whether rare, common, popular or obscure -- people everywhere will be able to discover them on Google Book Search."

Mathes also defends the company's project noting that Google does not "enable downloading of any book currently under copyright. Unless we have the publisher's permission to show more, we display only small snippets of text." (Source:

Using Google Book Search

To use Google's Book Search, you can search for books of interest by keyword. On the Google Book Search home page, two options are available for you to click on below the search box. By default, "All books" is selected, but to search for downloadable titles, you must choose "Full view books." Now you can search for a title or key word you are interested in.

Once your search results appear, click on one of the books that comes up. On the right side, you will notice a "Download" button that will allow you to download the book in PDF format. (Source:

To log onto Google Book Search, go to:

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