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Google books

Google Books or Google Books is a Google search engine that allows you to perform a full-text search on millions of books in different languages. In 2004, the company began digitizing copyright-free and copyrighted books.


Google Book Search digitizes printed books by scanning them. They are then made available for full-text search using OCR software. In some cases, contributing publishers made complete PDF documents available to Google for Book Search, which could be used directly or once processed with OCR.

Unless you are a registered user you will not be able to benefit much, unregistered users can see only a few pages for free. If you have signed in to your Google account, you will receive a greater variety of pages. But even if you are connected in this way, you will not have the option to see all the content. At the same time, the use is limited to a specific daily quota.

Data set in Google Books

Since the Google Book Search went online in October 2004, the data set has grown continuously. Google Inc. has set a goal of providing at least 15 million books in digital format. The following libraries cooperate with Google in this digitization project:

  • University of Michigan Library.
  • Harvard and Stanford University Libraries.
  • New York Public Library.
  • Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford.
  • Libraries of the Universities of Virginia, Wisconsin-Madison, Princeton, California and Texas at Austin.
  • National Library of Catalonia (Barcelona).
  • Complutense University Library (Madrid).
  • Bavarian State Library (Munich).
  • Municipal Library of Lyon.
  • Austrian National Library.

Google Book Search app

Google Book Search is enabled in the respective app stores as a free download for Android and Apple mobile devices. You can browse, buy and read millions of books with this application. More than 3 million free books and thousands of hundreds of books that can be purchased are available.

Legal issues

Only part of the publications in Google Book Search come from collaboration with libraries and publishers. Much of the dataset was digitized and is being digitized against the express wishes of the affected publishers and authors, in violation of existing copyrights. This created a significant controversy and several lawsuits were filed against Google Inc. The settlement initiative called "Google Book Settlement" has acquired excessive notoriety. Google wanted to reach an agreement with the interested parties. The settlement provided financial compensation for affected authors and publishers whose books were monetized through Google Book Search. Any affected party that did not withdraw from this proposed settlement was automatically included in it.

In November 2013, a US court ruled that Google Book Search is legally admissible because it serves the general public and everyone would benefit.

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