©2023 Donald R. Page last updated 2023-05-16

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ABSTRACT:  Millions of books are posted online on Google, FamilySearch, Internet Archive, Libby (Over-Drive), and other websites. Many of these are every-word searchable, so you can find books that contain what you want. This class will discuss online ebooks, their formats, and what is on Google Books. Other classes will discuss ebooks on other websites.  The notes and other related information, all with active internet links, is posted on .


  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( ) of Provo, Utah.
  2. The notes with active URLs and additional information in other notes and articles are posted at .
  3. Tips:  (1)  To put an icon on your desktop for these notes, or any webpage, just drag the icon from in front of the address (above) in your browser onto your desktop.  (2)  To open a link, but keep your place in these notes, hold down the Control key while clicking the link.
  4. Problem for today:  What are ebook formats and what is on Google Books. 

  6. Books are hard-copy, ebooks (digital format), and audio books.
  7. There are advantages to each format, but here we only discuss ebooks (digital format).
  8. The website Statistica estimated that about half of all books sold in the United states now are ebooks, books in digital format.
  9. Ebooks are read with an electronic ereader on your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  10. The most common ebook formats are pdf (Portable Document Format), ePub, Mobi, and Kindle (Azw3)  
  11. In many cases you can download the book so you will have a copy to read or search, even if it is removed from the internet. 
  12. Ereaders are available, many free -- these allow you to read and search even turn pages and many will convert formats of your ebooks.
  13. Calibre - - good and free ereader, ecataloger, and ebook converter -- finds all ebooks on your computer, catalogs them, and lets you read them, turn the pages, and sometimes search them.

  15. To find Google Books containing what you want, do a Google search -- -- then click on Books on the results page -- this limits the results to just those found in Google Books. 
  16. Put quotation marks around your search terms, , e.g. "donald r. snow"and remember that caps and punctuation don't matter in Google searches.  
  17. Articles about Google books
    1. Google's article --
    2. Wikipedia article -- , gives history of Google Books and related operations
    3. Info on using Google Play Books --  
  18. Google estimated there are about 130 million different (hard-copy) books ever published in the world and that they had scanned more than 25 million books
  19. Google book searches
    1. To find a specific book search for the title in quotation marks, e.g. "The Snow Genealogy"
    2. When you see the icon "EBOOK - FREE", you can click on it and download or put it in "My Library" where you can read it or copy it or download it for free -- Example:  for Erastus Snow's   One Year In Scandinavia
  20. Downloaded books from Google Books don't usually have the text layer over the picture layer of the pdf and, hence, are not searchable on your own computer until you OCR (Optical Character Recognize)them (see other class notes for this process)
  21. When Google doesn't have permission to post the entire volume, you only see a snippet of the page with the search term highlighted and information about where to find or purchase a physical copy
  22. You may still be able to find the full etext book for free on some other website; or you can use a screen capture program to save off just the part you need

  24. Ebooks are very helpful,  are in various formats, and many are free.
  25. To find Google Books with your name, do a Google search for your name (in quotes) and click Books on the results screen - you may be surprised by what you find. 
  26. No one book website has all ebooks; we will discuss others and other references in later classes.

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