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Amazon has just launched a new service: "Search Inside The Book".

You can now do full text searches of 33 million pages in 120,000 books. Amazing. Amazon.com only so far, but roll on the rest of the world...


Oct. 23rd, 2003 12:28 pm (UTC)
Dangerously fascinating
Searched on "avocado toxicity" (for pet and plant compatibility purposes!) and came up with hits that included an excerpt containing the wondrous line "Parsley-induced photosensitivity has been reported in ostriches and . . ."

Applications of this (the search, not the avocado stuff) could be quite impressive so long as enough books are included (since there's still too little in the way of copyright texts available). Finding references to other works or people becomes a doddle. I'm rather reminded of the case of the academic who wrote his/her thesis on Shakespeare quotations in the OED which involved reading the entire dictionary, an exercise reduced to child's play by the appearance of the electronic version of the OED (or was this apocryphal? I'm sure I remember an interview on the Today programme).