Well, this is rather cool, wouldn't you say?

A significant extension of our groundbreaking Look Inside the Book feature, Search Inside the Book allows you to search millions of pages to find exactly the book you want to buy. Now instead of just displaying books whose title, author, or publisher-provided keywords match your search terms, your search results will surface titles based on every word inside the book. Using Search Inside the Book is as simple as running an Amazon.com search.

How it works.

Posted by jzawodn at October 23, 2003 07:50 PM

Reader Comments
# Peter Grigor said:

Hmmm, I wonder if Amazon is taking advantage of MySql's fulltext search?


on October 23, 2003 08:39 PM
# Anheuser Busch said:

MySQL, get real...

And I pity the poor third-world workers who slaved away to scan in all those pages ;P.

on October 23, 2003 09:13 PM
# david said:

It might be likely they actually got the pages from the publishers.

on October 23, 2003 09:30 PM
# Anheuser Busch said:

Actually, they probably had to type in all the text. In binary.

on October 23, 2003 10:05 PM
# JJ said:

Kind of cool, but doesn't seem to work very well. Maybe not all books are indexed.

on October 24, 2003 01:25 AM
# Michael Moncur said:

Amazon's page for publishers says they need to submit a "physical copy" of each book, so I think they're just OCR'ing the lot of them. I've seen some evidence of this, too - the excerpts in the results sometimes include the headers at the top of the page, something a text copy from the publisher isn't likely to have.

on October 24, 2003 04:14 AM
# Courtney said:

I've been keeping an eye on this for a while. They have scanned the lot of them. I pity the people who did that for a living.

on October 24, 2003 05:46 AM
# Marco said:

Great tool to search after a book, but it's only in English;-(

on October 24, 2003 06:21 AM
# Dan Isaacs said:

I pity no one that has a job. I used to. But given the number of people that would gladly run a scanner for money to pay bills and buy food, pitying those that do seems foolish.

on October 24, 2003 07:17 AM
# Courtney said:

tingilinde found a good article: "update ... here is a Wired article on the effort. The article is particularly interesting as it goes into the efforts of Brewster Kahle."

That's like saying not to pity the kids chained to looms that make rugs because they have a job. Nah, I still pity them. I would rather they have a job that they liked, and used their talents, and were good at. It's just a matter of scale to pity the poor bored souls running the scanner.

on October 24, 2003 07:33 AM
# hot-sauce-addicted said:

I won't be long when all books published will be accompanied with a simple text file and all online purveyors will have access or the ability to do full text searches.

I hope for the day when all scientific/engineering journals are searchable and available.

on October 24, 2003 10:31 AM
# Steve Friedl said:

Anything Udi Manber is part of is bound to be exceptionally clever.

on October 24, 2003 10:04 PM
# Mike Hillyer said:

Well it looks handy, but it's not perfect.

on October 25, 2003 09:38 AM
# Michael Heraghty said:

I think the Amazon search inside the book feature is the first step towards the full digitization of all books -- a universal digital library!

See my own post on this: http://www.mediajunk.com/public/archives/000201.html

on October 27, 2003 02:20 PM
# Michael Heraghty said:

Oops, I should have said see my own post on this.

on October 27, 2003 02:21 PM
# Moses said:

Can anyone post an example of this search.
It's either I'm blind or they removed it.

on October 30, 2003 06:38 AM
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