Tuesday, December 7, 2010

First Look at Google eBooks

Google has announced their eBooks service where persons can buy and/or read electronic books online.  The Google eBookstore is at http://books.google.com/ebooks.

There is a search box in the upper right corner - I put "seaver genealogy" in the box:

The results for my search terms looks like this:

The "Any" screen shows books that match my search terms that can be purchased.  For books that are still under copyright protection, the prices are shown below the thumbnail image of the book cover. 

I was interested in the Free books so I clicked the "Free only" link (just below "Any" in the upper left corner), and saw:

The list of freely available and readable books shows a thumbnail picture of the book cover and a truncated title.  If you run your mouse over the thumbnail image you get a more complete description of the book, as seen above for the first book listed.

I clicked on the thumbnail image and saw a fuller description of the book (note that I could have clicked on "Read now" and skipped this step):

The big blue "Read Now" button on the right takes me to this page:

There is a list of pages in the book that match my search terms.  The book page image, in this case, is of the only page in the book with my search term "seaver genealogy."  If there was more than one search result, I could click on the item in the list on the left to see the pages on the right.  The search terms are highlighted in yellow on the page image.  The user can advance the pages forward or backward by using the arrows on either side of the page image.

Note that I could have searched for another search term, perhaps "seaver" in this particular book, and might have seen more pages (in this case, there were three matches for "seaver").

 There are some icons on the left margin above, for the Table of Contents, Zooming, Information, and Help.

Since my computer screen is in a landscape configuration, I can't see all of the page.  The user can scroll up or down to see the other part of the page.  Obviously, it is tailored to the Portrait display on some portable eReaders (which I don't have).

The text on these pages cannot be copied and the individual pages cannot be saved.   The system saves the  eBook in the user's Google "My eBook Library"  without any action by the user.  If you look at a free book, it's in your "My eBook Library." 

My guess is that most of these free eBooks are also available for free in Google Books.  However, the eBook reader seems to work faster than Google Books, but you have to advance the pages manually rather than in a continuous scroll on Google Books.

I'm going to do a bit more searching for some of my surnames and also for out-of-copyright genealogy books. 

If you find some goodies, please let us know in your own blog post or in a comment on this blog post.

No comments: