Being the uber dork that I openly admit to being, I am already anxiously anticipating next school year. Our school will be teaching a new English course: Multicultural Literature. As I plan excerpts and short text that I want to use with my students, I am working hard to offer a variety of options and diverse literature. As any public teacher knows, purchasing and locating text can be challenging. In the past I have resorted to a variety of legal and somewhat legal methods to secure text for my students. These have included:
- Excessive photocopying (staying within the parameters of the 20% copyright rule—of course)
- Creating pdfs of excerpts from those photocopies.
- Looking for other teachers who have typed, photocopied or made Adobe files of the text that I want.
- My least favorite-ponying up the cash for a budget breaking purchase at the local Borders (RIP) or Barnes and Noble.
Luckily, there is a great new tool that allows you to embed book previews into your own blog or website. Google Books has a feature called Preview Wizard that makes this all possible. Utilizing API coding, this feature was originally intended for developers who wrote applications for Books API. Google Books has a longstanding mission to digitize the world’s book content and make this content easily discoverable on the Web.
To get started:
- Search for the book you want in Google with Google Books Preview. Example: “Roots” Google Book preview. When the search results come up, select the ones from google.books.
- View the preview of the book. Often these include the entire book, the entire book minus a few pages, the beginning of the book or random excerpts.
- If the book is what you want, scroll through the book and get the ISBN from the front matter. If you cannot locate the ISBN, go to Amazon and copy the 10 digit ISBN from their. Often there are multiple versions of a book, so multiple ISBN numbers may exist. Copy each of them.
- Visit the Preview Wizard to generate the code for your website.
- Copy the generated code into the HTML of your site and you will have an embedded book available to your website visitors.
Here is an example of a book, Alex Haley’s Roots Embedded here.