Google Book Search started out as Google Print before it turned into Google Books. They only dropped the search and pluralized book. However, Google Book Search is still widely known because if you go to any of the search engines and punch it in, you’ll come up with Google Books. But what exactly is Google Book Search or Google books? It is a system that the company uses to search the full text of books, scan them and store them into digital database. That is very good, well done, I’d say to the Internet giant. What they’re trying to do is make us more intelligent, put every bit of information at our fingertips. There are millions of books that we can have access to and not only in English but in French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, etc.and more and more languages will be signing up. This is something great for humanity. Just imagine we can have access to any book. Of course we have to respect copyrights and the enterprise has done a very good job at making sure that those with copyrights have limitations and security measures and only show a few lines or snippets as they call them. The ones that are in public domain we don’t have to worry about them at all because they’re automatically free for download and they’re in the millions now. A whole bunch of books to read, don’t you think? You can go to Google Book Search right now and if you’re a subscribing user, you can click on a result from Google Books and it’ll take you to an interface where you can view all the books you want. I can’t get over what Google’s doing and I must admit that I can’t understand either how there are so many negative attacks on the Internet giant for doing something so good. It is a very helpful way of giving unprecedented access to the largest collection of human knowledge. This is the future of the Library of Alexandria with an online aspect to it and the complete democratization of knowledge. We have managed to build a library with every book that was ever printed. I'm confident Google Books will pull through with what they're doing.
Google wasn’t the only one with the idea. Internet Archive, HathiTrust, Europeana, Gallica, and even Microsoft got into the business but didn’t do very well and ended up throwing in the towel soon after they started. However, Google had the tools and the knowhow and eventually succeeded in carrying out the job under their Library Project, which is also now known as Google Book Search, the key word that attracted me to write about it and make my idea known to so many people that this is something great for humanity. We now have access to every bit of information that was published for centuries and centuries. It is something to be proud of for Google has achieved a great feat by digitizing all these great books.
The number of digitized books was recently calculated at over 17 million and there are millions of exceptional books around the world that they are planning to store in their database. Just imagine the amount of books that you’ll have in front of your eyes on the screen. You can copy and paste anything you want from any book. You can quote authors as you wish, any part of their books. You can have access to all of Shakespeare’s stories and plays and even those beautiful poems of his. You can have a collection of the 150 sonnets he wrote and easily read through them right here on the screen. You can get to know Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes. That masterful work of art. You can go through The Holy Bible from back to front and vice versa and read whatever you want. There are thousands of books that you can have access to. I just wanted to mention a few and I know it depends on the reader’s taste, but there are so many to choose from and right here on the screen. This is something revolutionary that is going on right in front of our very own eyes. Maybe we’ll just have to wait a little more until more people have access the computer and the Internet so that they can see how beneficial this is to us. The information age is upon us and Google has put it all at our fingertips. We are fortunate to have something like this and should not hesitate to use it to make more people get into the habit of reading. This is another reason why we can’t stop talking about Google’s Library project for it is going to assist us in our endeavor of making more people read especially now that they have millions of books to choose from.
At Wade Hilton from Jamaica we support Google in the project that they’re carrying out or have almost carried out for it is to our knowledge that by the end of this decade they’ll reach their goal of digitizing every book to be created. We’re sure that a lot of people will want to have a say with the matter at hand. Don’t forget that you’re at the right place to do so and we’re very appreciative of your opinions and comments in every aspect of the word. We want to promote reading and we think Google Book Search can help us in more ways than one to carry out our dream of getting more people to read. Let us know what’s on your mind.
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