One of the most useful, if often-overlooked, features of Google Book Search is the ability to enter your own books and create a personal library which you can then search if Google has scanned those books. (And chances are it probably has). If you are trying to find a passage or a factoid you once read but can’t remember the book no matter how hard you wrack your brain, the ability to search your personal library can come in handy. Except who wants to enter each book one at a time?
Now you can scan your books into your library on Google Book Search using a normal barcode scanner. I am not one hundred percent convinced that this is actually faster than simply typing in the title of the book and adding it to your library. It is faster than typing in the ISBN numbers, however, which is how Google Book Search handles mass imports.
But if we are willing to convert our entire CD collections to digital form, it is high time we started tackling our books. Right now, Google is merely matching your books with the books it has already digitized for search purposes only. But once they know what books you own in print, the next logical step is to sell you a digital version of the book and related books on the same topics or by the same author. Once Google collects a big enough book search history on you, it shouldn’t be too hard for them to recommend new books to you which are spot on. Knowing what books you’ve read, will certainly help them in that regard.
In the video below, Google’s Matt Cutts goes through the process of scanning your books into Google Book Search.