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What is Google Book Search?

Google Book Search

Google Book Search works just like Google Web Search. Enter search term(s) such as a book title or author into the Search box, and Google Book Search will provide you with a list of books matching your query.

If the book is out of copyright (i.e. in the public domain), or the publisher gives permission for a book to be viewed online, you will be able to view a preview of the book and in some cases the entire text of the book. If the book is available in full preview, you will also be able to download a PDF copy of the book.

Please note: Not all books on Google Book Search are viewable in their entirety. Usually a only a portion of the book is available, which means only a limited number of pages are accessible for preview. Also note that some pages may only be viewable after creating and logging in with a Google account.
Why use Google Book Search?

Google Book Search is a good resource to use when you are searching for a Classic book. Most Classic books (Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, for example) are out of copyright and may be available in Full Preview on Google Book Search. Also, if you are interested in reading a book but would like to read some of the text before borrowing or purchasing the book, then you can try to see if Google Book Search offers a preview of the book you wish to read.

However, Google Book Search is primarily a search engine, not an e-book site, so do not depend solely on Google Book Search in order to locate a book.

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How can I tell how much of a book is available?

The length of a book available for viewing is dependent upon the date of publication for that edition. For example, the version of Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, published in 1910 is available in Full Preview. However, an edition of the same title published later may only be available as a limited preview or even no preview (see screenshot below).

Click on the book's "More editions" link in the search result list to find more editions of a particular title or author's works.

See also: "Why Can't I Read the Entire Book?"

You can limit your search to show only books that offer full-text:

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Can I print a book from Google Book Search?

If a book is available in Full Preview (full text) you can download a PDF copy of the book to your computer or flash drive, then print it out from the PDF. You cannot print directly from Google Book Search at this time.

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I've found a book in Google Book Search that I want to read. How do I get it?

Google Book Search has a partnership with, so when viewing a book you may see a "Buy this Book" link on the right sidebar, along with a list of online book sellers, such as You do not need to purchase a book in order to read it. If a book you are seeking is not available in Full Preview in Google Book Search, you can do the following to find a copy:

1.   Search our library catalog to see if we own a copy of the book: (Note: If Salve does not own a copy of the book, you can always request it from another lending academic library in Rhode Island that does own it. For help, see: How to Request a Book from another Library)

2.   You can also try searching Brown University's Library Catalog, JOSIAH: If a book is available you can request a copy from Brown just as you would any other academic HELIN library in Rhode Island.

3.   Click on the "Find this book in a library" link under "Borrow this Book" when viewing a preview of a book in Google Book Search. The resulting page will list public and academic libraries closest to your location that have the book available (powered by WorldCat).

4. If you are unable to locate a book using one of the above methods, then you can always request the book via Interlibrary Loan. (Note: you will need your library barcode number to use this service.)

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If you need further help, you can always ask!