Google Book Search

Google have changed some aspects of their reading-interface. See their blog announcement.

There are a couple of aspects to the new style that I dont like. Google Book Search now lets you scroll down a book in the way that you might scroll down a PDF file with a slider. It doesnt help me that you get pages in a cut-off situation and not always regularly in the middle of your viewing area. Just because we have had this system for PDF files doesnt make it right. Also, and a related issue but a deeper objection, Google Book Search has moved away from the 1:1 mapping of print pages to web pages (an article of faith with Exact Editions). This was one of the key features of the original Google Book Search in my livre. So its a real drawback that there is no obvious way of making a direct link to page 34 of Skottowe’s Life of Shakespeare. “Go find page 34!” Is less helpful than a direct link.

One more grouse: most of the examples that Google give in their blog entry do not work for readers in the UK. Presumably they have been disabled for copyright reasons though why a book on Geronimo published in 1906 should be in copyright outside the US beats me. There is going to have to be a consistent and sensible solution to its copyright woes before the Google system can be widely accepted. Do you mean to say we might have to move to the USA to read most of the books on Google Book Search?

When we first designed the Exact Editions system we paid a lot of attention to Google Book Search (Google Print as it then was). It looks like our paths are diverging. Magazines (and newspapers) make bold use of the double-page spread so a magazine and newsprint system is not going to work well with pages viewed on a scroll.

One thought on “Google Book Search

  1. Actually, you can still link directly to a specific page. As you flip or scroll from page to page, the URL in the navigation bar is updated automatically. So, to get a link to the book page currently displayed in your browser, you can just copy the URL from your navbar. Here’s a direct link to the aforementioned page 34.Jeff BartelmaProduct Manager, Google Book Search

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