Google is in talks with several publishers to build a service that would allow Web surfers to search the full text of books online, according to a report this week from Publishers Weekly's online site. Google spokesman David Krane declined to comment. But such a service would likely allow people to query a database for keywords and then view exerpts from books where those keywords appear, according to the report. So far, Google has made agreements that give it the ability to scan as many as 60,000 titles, the report said.
The discussions come after a newly introduced service from Amazon.com called "Search Inside the Book," which is similar to the one Google is reportedly discussing. Amazon's book search, which launched last week, lets people search millions of pages of books for keywords, view passages and purchase books directly from the site.