Search Full-Text within 4M+ Books

Open Library now lets you search inside the text contents of over 4M books!

A Full-Text Search for “thanks for all the fish” on openlibrary.org

What’s Full-Text Search?

Many book websites, like Amazon and Goodreads, give you the ability to search for books by title and author, but they don’t make it easy to find books based on their contents. This type of searching is called “Full-Text Search”.

Try searching for “brewster kahle alexa internet” on Goodreads or Amazon:

A search for “brewster kahle alexa internet” on goodreads

A search for “brewster kahle alexa internet” on amazon books

Have you ever heard a quote and wished you could figure out which book it came from? Open Library full-text search gives readers the ability to locate books which reference any snippet of text like, “Let every thing have its place“:

A full-text search on openlibrary.org of “let every thing have its place”

Full-Text Search on Archive.org

I’ve been surprised to learn how many people didn’t know that Archive.org has had full-text search for several years — and its really powerful! In 2016, Giovanni Damiola (@giovannidamiola) led a major overhaul of Internet Archive’s full-text search system and unlocked the ability for users to perform full-text searches across almost 40M unique text documents — from patents, to yearbooks, to open-access research papers.

How to activate Full-Text Search mode on Archive.org

 

Full-Text Search of the quote “let every thing have its place” on Archive.org

Open Library Full-Text Search

When you search across 40M documents, it can be a challenge to find the one you’re looking for. One feature which Open Library has been missing is a way to limit Internet Archive’s full-text search to only include results from books on Open Library. So for the last two years, Open Library has patiently waited to take full advantage of full-text search for its users.

Earlier this week, Gio released an improvement to our full-text search engine which lets us get around this historical limitation — and so we jumped on this opportunity to improve our search on openlibrary.org! With the help of Razzi Abuissa, Open Library volunteer, and Mek, Open Library’s project lead, you can now search inside more than 4M Open Library books.

Try a Full-Text Search

Thanks for all the fish! …Wait, what book was that from again?

 

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Star Ratings are Here!

Over the last six months, more than 145,000 of you have tracked which books you want-to-read. Now you can record how you feel about the books you’ve finished reading using star ratings!

Next time you’re on a book page, you’ll see 5-stars beneath the book cover. By clicking one of the 5 stars, you can select the corresponding rating for this book. Your ratings are private by default, though we do intend to offer an option for making your ratings public. Also, while it’s not finished yet, we are working on adding average star ratings to our books pages so you can learn how the community feels about different titles.

We hope you enjoy this new feature as much as we are!

Have ideas or feedback for us? Let us know on twitter!

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Turn Your Website into a Library

Openlibrary.org has over 3M books lining its digital shelves, but nothing quite beats being able to embed your favorite book directly on your personal site. Last week, with the help of volunteer Galen Mancino, we launched an embed tool which lets you add any Open Library book to your website or blog. Next time you write a book review, you can place its Open Library book right next to it and, if its available, enable your audience to read it with a single click.

What does it look like?

Here’s a version of a webpage which has been modified from its original form to include an Open Library book embed side-by-side its book review.

Want to add a book to your site?

Here’s how! First, find your favorite book on openlibrary.org and click on the embed button (see figure 1). A message box will pop up containing a line of html code you can add to your to your website (see figure 2).

Figure 1

Figure 2

Looking Forward

In the future, we’re considering extending the book embed feature to support reading lists. If you’re interested in this feature, please let us know on our twitter or github.

Volunteer Spotlight

Galen Mancino is a volunteer for the Open Library project. He is passionate about sustainable and local economic growth, revitalization, and how technology can bring us there. He is currently pursuing his Master’s in Interdisciplinary Computer Science. You can learn more about what Galen is working on by going to galenmancino.com.

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Share what you’re reading

To bring in the new year, Open Library announced a new feature called the Reading Log which lets you keep track of the books you’re currently reading, have finished reading, or want to read. Over the last two months since we launched the feature, we’ve received promising feedback from our community. Our reading log stats page shows over 53,000 readers have logged more than 100,000 books! It’s even helped us learn which books our community cares most about. The biggest point of feedback we’ve received is that many readers wish there was a way to share their reading log with friends.

As a library, and as readers ourselves, we take reader privacy seriously. We believe everyone should have the right to feel safe and have their privacy respected when they search for and borrow books. So when we launched the Reading Log feature, we decided to make it private by default, so only you can see what books you’re tracking. We also gave readers full control to manage, add, and remove books from their reading lists. We still think this is the right choice and will continue making the Reading Log private-by-default for all new users.

But now, readers have a choice: Announcing the public Reading Log option!

Starting today, users will be able to go to a new privacy page where they can manage their account settings and make their Reading Logs public so they can share it with their family and friends.

How do I make my Reading Log public?

After going to your privacy page, you can click the “Yes” option to make your Reading Log public.

You can then visit your Reading Log and use the Share button to generate a link which you can share with your friends!

We hope the public Reading Log feature will give your friends inspiration as to what they should read next!

 

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A Holiday Gift from Open Library: Introducing the Reading Log

For years readers have been asking us for a convenient way to keep track of the books they’re reading.

As we prepare to step through the threshold into 2018, we’re happy to announce the release of a brand new Reading Log feature which lets you indicate all the books you’d like to read, books you’ve already read, and books you’re currently reading.

You can now mark a book as “Want to Read”, “Currently Reading”, or “Already Read”, in addition to adding it to one of your themed reading lists.

Here’s how it works!

Any time you go to a book page on Open Library, you will see a new green button with the text “Want to Read”. By clicking on this button, you can mark this book as a work you’d like to read. By clicking on the white dropdown arrow on the right side of the button, you can select from other options too, like “Currently Reading” or “Already Read”. Once you click one of these options, the green button will appear gray with a green check, indicating your selection has been saved.

Where can I review my Reading Log?

You can review the books in your Reading Log by clicking the “My Books” menu and selecting the “My Reading Log” option in the dropdown.

You can find a link to your Reading Log page under the “My Books” menu

From this page, you can manage the status of the books you’re reading and easily find them in the future.

A preview of the Reading Log page

Who can see my Reading Log selections?

Books you mark as “Want to Read”, “Currently Reading”, or “Already Read” are made private by default. We know some people want to share what books they’re reading. In the future, we hope to offer an option for readers to make their Reading Log public.

Can I Still Use Lists?

You can still use your existing Lists and even create new ones! In addition to giving you a convenient way to log your reading progress, you can also use the green dropdown menu to add this book to one of your custom themed Lists.

Send Us Your Feedback!

We hope you love this new feature as much as we do and we’d love to hear your thoughts! Tweet us at @openlibrary. Is the Reading Log feature not working as you expect? Please tell us about any issues you experience here.

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