Google offers nice refinements on book search

Google has revamped its Book Search, now giving you a way to create and search your own book collection, or library.

This is pretty powerful, since Google lets you search for words within your books. It’s more fruit from its laborious but contentious process of scanning books into its index — something it began more than two years ago.

A student can build collection out of sources for an upcoming term paper, and then search with Google to find the book and page containing a needed reference. A frequent traveler might search her Google book library for guide books to figure out which book in her offline collection provides information about an obscure town she’s planning to visit.

See screenshot below, which shows you can select your library by clicking on a button underneath the search bar.

Other features Google is offering with this:

• Sharing: While you’re creating your library, you can also annotate it by adding labels, writing reviews, and rating books. Then share your collection with others by sending them a link to your library in Google Book Search. You can set up RSS feeds with friends so that they’re alerted when you add new books to your collection.

• Popular passages: Learn how authors are quoting one another. This feature displays quotations or other excerpts of a book that appear in lots of other books. This also lets you discover connections between books too. Google provides an example of a quote that appears in more than 140 books from 1759-2007:

“An Original may be said to be of a vegetable nature; it rises spontaneously from the vital root of genius; it grows, it is not made; Imitations are often a sort of manufacture, wrought up by those mechanics, art and labour, out of pre-existent materials…”
-Edward Young

• Select, Clip and Post Text: Google lets you clip and post selections of text from out-of-copyright books so you can share your favorite passages or quotes with others. Click on the ‘share this clip’ icon in the blue navigation bar, highlight the text, and then choose whether to post it to Blogger, Google Notebook, or get the URL to embed the clip wherever you’d like to display the passage.

• Refine your search: In addition to the new features that let you interact with books, Google has also added search refinement links on the results pages. These links point you toward categories of books that match your search and give you a new way to peruse the index.

google-booksearch.jpg


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