How To Find Specific E-Books Online | The Thinking Blog ~ Knowledge Grows When Shared
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13 June 2007

How To Find Specific E-Books Online

E-books serve very well in two cases. First, the electronic version of a book is the ideal companion to the real physical book you already own, especially with technical literature, when you are learning, studying or using it as a reference. With an accompanying e-book, you can easily search and find specific keywords in a glimpse (the power of Ctrl-F!) which would be a tedious task if done manually. Second, before you buy a new book in an online bookstore, you may want to have a deeper look at it in order to verify that the contents match your expectations. In some online stores such as Amazon you have the ability to get a preview for some books, but the preview is very limited (you can see the table of contents, and search for specific terms) but you can't freely browse through it.
Even though the price for commercially available e-books is often quite high (considering that there are essentially no copy costs), there are many projects aiming to make ebooks freely available (check out this article for a more comprehensive list). These public domain ebooks are great resources of knowledge, but what if you already have a specific book and want to find an electronic edition copy of it?

Well, you could just try googling them. However, using a simple query for the book's title might not get you the expected results in most cases, therefore people came up with more specialized queries using Google's advanced query operators. Surely, you could also search it in your favorite bittorrent sites if you don't care about possibly "extra-legal" findings.

The solution. I'd like to recommend you a tool that makes finding ebooks easier: eBook Searchr! It's an e-book search engine based on Google's Custom Search technology and it currently searches more than 200 selected and categorized e-book sites, including the ones mentioned above. Although the default settings contain "extra-legal" results as well, if you don't like to see those, you can restrict your search to the "Public Domain" area or to "Commercial" stores only. Anything you find on eBook Searchr, you can also find it googling. However, the difference with this custom search engine is this:

1. The search is kept within relevant sites,
2. The results are filtered out of spam,
3. and you can find that specific e-book in less time!

That specific e-book is, of course, my free e-book!

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