Get Your Read on at Google

The day has come for readers to search for, access and then download books online in PDF format.

The public domain books that Google has scanned as part of its Book Search project are now available for free download with the click of just one button.

A Google spokesperson refused to say exactly how many books are available to search, but she did say it would take a very long time to count.

To access the books, readers should select the “full view” radio
button when searching on Google Book Search.

Then, if they click on
the “download” button shown on a public domain book’s page, they can
download a PDF file of the entire work.

Google has partnered with Harvard, the New York Public Library,
Oxford, Stanford, the University of Michigan and, earlier this month, the University of California as part of its project to scan the
world’s books.

While the Google Book Search results pages will continue to serve
sponsored links as part of Google’s AdWords product, the PDF versions
of the books themselves will not contain contextual ads, Adam Smith, Google Books product manager, told

It’s an easy click for a reader, but making the service available has
not been a simple process for Google.

Publishing industry concerns about copyrights pressured the Mountain
View, Calif., company to halt its book-scanning project once

It wasn’t until Google implemented stricter guidelines that
the process began again.

JupiterKagan Research Analyst Barry Parr wonders if all the trouble is worth it for Google.

“Why bother? What value are they adding?” he said.

He told to that a site such as Bartleby, which has already catalogued
many of the most popular books in the public domain, makes this move
hard for him to understand.

But Smith said the new download feature
is the result of user demand. So somebody must.

And this somebody just might have been waiting to download the
Records of the Convention of the Royal Burghs of Scotland from

And that day is finally here.

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