Well, I haven't been paying attention as Google has begun it's attempt to wrest control of the world from Microsoft, and I had not noticed this was one of the expanded services available from Google. Apparently, much like Amazon, there are many books (I assume currently on the retail market) which Google offers excerpts of. There is a difference, however. While Amazon may offer 10-20 random pages for your perusal as you make up your mind about buying the book, Google offers something over half the book.
I found this when I was tracking down a famous 82nd Airborne story (it ends with an 82nd paratrooper at The Bulge telling a nervous tanker that he's safe behind the trooper because, "This is as far as the bastards are going.") Anyway, a link was to this Google Book Search, and the book, All American, All The Way - The Combat History of The 82nd Airborne Division in World War II. The book is a nice readable history of the 82nd, with a lot of first-hand stories and vignettes thrown in. The neatest thing is, Google Book Search makes about 60% of the book available for reading online. I'll read 4-5 pages, and then it will skip the next 3 or so and then pick back up. But for no charge, it's a great deal, and I get most everything that's in it anyway. Just FYI.
*edit* Something ugly just happened. From the time it took me to leave the Google Book Search site to start this thread and then return to my book, I somehow lost several hundred pages. I did it all in the same window of my browser, which means I "left" the site and returned a few minutes later and reloaded it. And now I can only read maybe 10% of the book. What happened? Did Google's worldwide network of spies get to me that fast? Or did their massive world-domination computer programs detect that I was getting too many free pages? Dang, I knew it was too sweet....
I didn't make it!
I noticed the same thing about a week ago, but with another book. I could read the whole book, (i think) or at least the first 70% or something. (200-300 pages or something like that). and I still can. It's a great function, but i only read the first few pages since I hate reading books on the computer, much better with a paper-copy in my hand.
strange that it doesn't work, try again later? try with another book?
If you click on 'advanced search' you can select an option to only search books that are complete (ie. have all pages viewable). You'll hardly ever find anything remotely interesting though.
This is very interesting. Unfortunately(or fortunately as you're about to read...) as I looked at the price, I was astounded to see 47 bucks for this book. Looking for a cheaper price I found links to amazon.ca where I found the book for 29 bucks amongst other sellers. It looks as if they're not wrestling too hard or they'd like people to compare the two sites because you sure as hell don't see any links on Amazon's site.