Given that Google, on occasion, shuts down their little projects- should I be using their Books subsite as a source?

I did it twice in an answer here, and I get antsy with overly-long generated links as it is [one aspect could be a session-id that's going to expire, and negate the link?], and have done it a few times recently.

And I don't want to link to another 'project' of Google's that will disappear in two years. Articles here should be as permanent as possible.

The alternatives to Google Books are often else-country from publisher and sketchy at best.

  • I used Google books for an answer once too. Of course this was before they started stripping all their useful apps. Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 3:48

3 Answers 3


This is just a gut feeling, but I get the impression that Google isn't going to shut down Books.

If I am wrong, we can do maintenance editing on older questions. There just aren't any other book websites that are suitable.

  • Another point, we're normally given notice, and we can look through those answers/questions citing them and screenshot/find an alternative in a time we are given notice.
    – AncientSwordRage Mod
    Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 11:35
  • 1
    I'm thinking about it- the Reader service was a dynamic service. Needs continuous storage-writes. Books is an established archive. If they end adding to it, then they still have the archive and ad-ops.
    – Solemnity
    Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 2:10

IMO, as long as you state the title and author of the book and insert the relevant excerpt into your answer, it shouldn't matter if Google Books survives or not.

Personally, I link to the main page of the book on Google Books which provides a search option. This provides an overview of the book, a short URL sans session IDs, and a search box where strings from the excerpt can be looked up.

  • 2
    Yep. I did that, until I found a little way around needing to do it [I think]. I'm going to monitor that- and I'll have to use the main-page method if it starts failing. The 'trick'- don't use the link that you think will work when you have a page-specific hit. Bounce back out to Google general search, then use 'google books [book name] [reference text]'- if that doesn't work, swap [reference text] with [page-number]. I had to edit my answer after I second-guessed.
    – Solemnity
    Commented Apr 16, 2013 at 1:44

Given that they're spending $125 million to placate the Author's Guild to keep Google Books operating, not to mention the actual scanning costs, I find it rather unlikely that that they'd just shut it down on a whim.

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