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How to Find and Download Public Domain Books from Google Book Search


Google Book Search
Google Inc.

Google Book Search is a very useful tool for finding books according to keyword search. The Google database contains a massive library of scanned books. You can also use Google Book Search to find and download books in the public domain.

Only books in the public domain can be downloaded. Books with intact copyright are available only for preview. The amount of book that can be previewed varies from citation only to the entire book, depending on the agreement Google has with the publisher.



Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Two minutes or less

Here's How:

  1. Go to Google Book Search instead of the Google eBookstore.
  2. Select the "Advanced Book Search" link.
  3. Under Search: choose the radio button marked Full view only. This doesn't guarantee you'll find a public domain book, but it significantly improves your chances.
  4. Enter a search phrase. The search phrase can be one or many words, and it can be the name of authors, keywords within a book, or keywords from the title of a book. You'll increase your chances if you enter your search phrase in the "with at least one of the words" box.
  5. Press the "Google Search" button.
  6. Your results page appears with a list of books that you can view. Click on a book to look inside that book.
  7. Some of these books may still be under copyright. If the book is public domain, you will see a Download button on the top right side of the browser window.
  8. Click on the Download button to download a PDF of the book. You may also see a link to a free Google eBook, but Google eBooks are stored in an Internet-based virtual library instead of on your computer. Here's how you find free eBooks from the Google eBookstore.
  9. You may read the book on your desktop or print it. Be sure to read Google's usage guideline requests.

    Google Book Search is on the Web at http://books.google.com.

What You Need:

  • A Computer Connected to the Internet
  • A Web Browser
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
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