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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Check out a book…with Google Book Downloader

Google Book Search and its ambitious scanning project have put many of the world’s finest literary and scientific works at our fingertips. One can download entire works if they are public domain or are no longer under copyright, but for current-market books only a preview of a certain number of pages is allowed. So…let’s say, hypothetically, that you DESPERATELY need the full text of a book, but don’t feel like making a late-night trip to the library. What then? Why, it’s Google Book Downloader to the rescue!

This handy little tool, written in C#, solves your literary woes. Simply input the Google BookID (found in the URL of the original Google Books page) and hit Check. Once that completes, click “Download All” and GBD does the rest by systematically downloading the pages in a randomized order (boy, does that make sense :) Finally, click “Save entire book as” the temporary downloaded pages are compiled into a nice, neat PDF. The GUI could use a little work, but once you figure out how to use the tool things work out nicely. PDF creation is handled by iTextSharp, the C# port of the popular iText Java library.

GBD in action:

gbd (.NET Framework 3.5 is required.)

Note that I do NOT condone any illegal or unsavory use of this software. Have a nice day.

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