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Searchable Book Site

A website, where, for a fee, you could search through a book to find a quote instead of painfully searching through the book page by page.
  (+10, -4)
(+10, -4)
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After reading a book, I now need to write an essay, but there are quotes that I want to use and remember having read, but cannot recall exactly in the book where they are. This is really frustrating and can take forever to find the quote!

What if there was a site where people to have access to the book online where they could simply search for the quote? This would be any student's dream, it would simplify writing papers for books SO much.

I realize that this involves copyright issues, but what if the site charged a fee for access to a book for a specified period of time, and part of that fee went to the publishers. A deal could be worked out with the publishers so that they would allow this because they would be making money. BAM! Everyone is happy.

Also, I couldn't find a category for this, sorry, so it's in OTHER.

Kenry52, Jan 04 2005

Project Gutenberg http://www.gutenberg.org/
Over 13,000 freely available texts [zen_tom, Jan 04 2005]

Notes on Atlas Shrugged http://www.sparknot.../lit/atlasshrugged/
[calum, Jan 04 2005]

Currently in Google's oven http://seattlepi.nw...ooglelibrary24.html
[Worldgineer, Jan 04 2005]

Google's plan http://www.google.c.../print_library.html
google [brodie, Jan 04 2005]

Questia http://www.questia.com/
"The World's Largest Online Library" [ldischler, Jan 06 2005]


       If it's that good, try googling what you can remember of it.   

       Otherwise 1000 pages OCR with a sheetfeed scanner... how much time do you have?   

       The website idea? I think that's crazy. It would be nice, but I don't see the publishers going for it.
swamilad, Jan 04 2005

       computer: web: searching or culture: website: reference
FarmerJohn, Jan 04 2005

       If you look at project Gutenburg [linked] you'll find a source for thousands of works that have become publically accessible. Find the book you are researching, go to it and then Ctrl-F to find whatever references you want.   

       It's also a great place to test text-parsers for those of a programming bent.   

       I did a search for Atlas Shrugged on there, but unfortunately they don't have it listed - they do have something called Anthem by Ayn Rand though if that helps.
zen_tom, Jan 04 2005

       There are many books that are freely available in the public domain, but the problem is that most books aren't.
Kenry52, Jan 04 2005

       The problem is either that an insufficient quantity and quality of notes were taken (and what is proposed is a solution to a problem entirely of the reader's own making) or that the reader has chosen too large and cumbersome a text for them to be able to conveniently use.   

       But regardless, the idea as proposed still involves the proposective paper penner in searching for words or phrases within an online text. This would require that the reader is able to remember a fragment large enough or unique enough to be useable for this purpose, in which case the reader might be as well either quoting what they can remember, or paraphrasing.
calum, Jan 04 2005

       If Google's plan works out, you'll be able to search through tens of millions of books online. See link.
Worldgineer, Jan 04 2005

       Currently being baked by google. see link.
brodie, Jan 04 2005

       damn, beaten by [world].
brodie, Jan 04 2005

       Until the world is controlled by google, you should search a file share network for the book. I've downloaded thousands of books, some even before being published.
brodie, Jan 04 2005

       [brodie], what do you use to download books? When you download them are you able to search them?
Kenry52, Jan 05 2005

       Amazon . com made a gesture to this end. Search Inside the Book program looked good until "the fine print" -- it is a voluntary, paid, subscription by listing book marketers to publish their books and make them searchable online. I was a little disillusioned at the idea of an author's pre-eminence, as such an idea generally favors newer or more singular books and those unlikely to gain more than a few readers on merit alone.
reensure, Jan 05 2005

       Google's plan is restricted to public domain books AFAIK and thus does not apply to [Kenry52]'s idea.   

       Most publishers would be against this, as they view eBooks as too easy to pirate.
Acme, Jan 05 2005

       Maybe a service where you scanned/typed in the bar code, and the site gave you the nothing but page numbers.   

       It would be a huge project for a third party, but some publishers might be able to offer this service with minimal effort.
tiromancer, Jan 05 2005

       If you don't take the time to read Atlas Shrugged, you should think twice.   

       War and Peace?   

       What makes a book too long, or a readers concentration span too short. You just might learn something.   

       If Atlas Shrugged is too heavy for you to hold, pick up, Anthem (1938). It's the size of a vanilla wafer, and should hook you on Ayn, forever.   

       It did me.
blissmiss, Jan 05 2005

       I have read Anthem, actually. I loved it. I also recently finished The Fountainhead, which is just slightly shorter than Atlas Shrugged. This idea has nothin to do with Atlas Shrugged being too long for me. Even in short books it can be difficult to find a quote. I just edited the idea and removed the whole idea of atlas shrugged. The focus here is that it is sometimes very frustrating to remember a quote when you're not be sure where in the book that quote is.
Kenry52, Jan 05 2005

       Gottcha, I'm a huge fan of Ayn.
blissmiss, Jan 05 2005

       [Acme], click on [brodie]'s link, then follow it to the details of Google's plan. It looks like they plan to have fully searchable copyrighted texts, only will not show you more than a few lines around your search results. Only public domain stuff will be available full text, and even then you won't be able to print it out.
Worldgineer, Jan 05 2005

       [Kenry52] different p2p file transfer programs-- imesh, morpheus, soulseek (all used anywhere from 1.5 to 6 years ago). Any program that lets you trade more than just music will work. I’ve heard that bitTorrent/bitTornado are pretty good—I don’t know for certain, I haven’t been downloading since I left college. I'm honest now, I swear.
brodie, Jan 05 2005

       I love when bakers read only the idea, and not the annotations, but still think that they should comment on the idea.
brodie, Jan 06 2005

       [marked-for-deletion] Widely known to exist. This has been baked by Questia. (see link) Of course, you have to pay, exactly as the idea suggests.
ldischler, Jan 06 2005

       [ldischler]: Thanks for that impressive link to the Questia Library. That's a hugely informative site that I was hitherto unaware existed. A subscription may become my new favorite Christmas or birthday gift to the students in my extended family.
jurist, Jan 06 2005

       Ditto the thanks [ldischler], for the Questia link. That looks like a pretty good resource for some special collections (like holocene archeology) and out-of-print manuscripts.
reensure, Jan 06 2005

       //[Acme], click on [brodie]'s link, then follow it to the details of Google's plan.// Thanks [Worldgineer], I guess I should have RTFL.
Acme, Jan 19 2005

       [admin: I'm ignoring ldischler's MFD because I don't think questia is widely known enough.]
jutta, Feb 12 2008


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