How to Read Full Books From Google Books

Updated April 17, 2017

In 2008, the Author's Guild and other organisations filed a lawsuit against Google books regarding their vast online book collection. Google resolved the lawsuit and looks forward to providing more books online. This allows Internet surfers to continue browsing and reading millions of free books on the Web. Some books display summaries and snippets of information. Others, such as those with expired copyrights, you are allowed to read from cover to cover. Using Google's Advanced Book Search, you can search for books about topics you enjoy and read them online for free.

Navigate to Google's "Advanced Book Search" Web page. This page contains text boxes and other controls that allow you to customise a book search. The user interface is similar to the one you see when using Google's advanced search option for Internet searches.

Enter a search query in the "Find Results" section. If you wish to find books that contain an exact phrase, enter that phrase in the text box labelled "with the exact phrase." To return books containing a list of words, enter those words in the "with all of the words" text box. Exclude books containing certain words by typing those exclusionary words in the text box labelled "without the words."

Review the other search options on the page. These allow you to search a particular book title, author, publisher and subject. If you know a book's ISBN or ISSN numbers, enter those numbers in the ISBN or ISSN text box.

Click "Return Content Published Between" and enter dates in the "Publication Date" text boxes if you need to search for books published within a specific time period. Otherwise, allow "Return Content Published Anytime" to remain selected.

Click the "Full View Only" radio button to select it, and then click "Google Search" on the right side of the screen to search for books. Google will display books matching your search criteria.

Scroll through the search results and click a book you would like to read. The site will display the books content on a new Web page.

Locate the toolbar icons near the top of the page on the left. Hold your mouse cursor over the icons to view their functions. The magnifying glass with a plus sign, for example, increases the size of the book's words. The "Full Screen" icon displays the book in full-screen mode.


Click the "PDF" icon if you see that option. Clicking "PDF" allows you to download a PDF version of the book to your hard drive. You can also find valuable information by selecting the "Limited Preview" option when entering a search on the Advanced Book Search page. Books returned from these queries contain a limited number of pages you can read.

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About the Author

After majoring in physics, Kevin Lee began writing professionally in 1989 when, as a software developer, he also created technical articles for the Johnson Space Center. Today this urban Texas cowboy continues to crank out high-quality software as well as non-technical articles covering a multitude of diverse topics ranging from gaming to current affairs.