Find answers in books using Google
Before the web provided instant answers to our burning questions, books were our main
source of reference. A new tool from Google called Talk to Books combines the two: just ask a question and it will scour the text of more than 100,000 books for a useful response.
Rather than trying to match keywords, Talk to Books highlights passages that best follow on from your query. Indeed, the answers are likely to contain none of the actual
words from your question, but they will undoubtedly uncover interesting perspectives and perhaps point toward books you may want to read.
To work most effectively, Talk to Books encourages you to type your query in a conversational manner – for example: “What is fun about computer programming?” or “Why is a free press important?”, rather than ‘computer programming fun’ or
‘importance free press’.
This takes a little getting used to but the results pay off. That’s because although Talk to
Books is very experimental, you’ll find it works particularly well if you ask a factual question rather than anything of a political or widely cultural nature.
It’s also sure to become more refined as time goes on, with researchers and bookworms most likely to appreciate its ability to expand on topics in ways traditional Google searches cannot.
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