How to download Google books to PDF?
Google Books - is the biggest online library on the Web. It allows to search, preview and read online millions of books from libraries and publishers worldwide. But reading books on Google Books (online) is hardly comfortable. You can't even add bookmarks. Besides, Google Books doesn't allow to save books and read them offline on your tablet or e-reader like Kindle, Nook or Kobo. You can’t print Google Books and read them in bed, but need to sit in front of desktop screen that harms your eyes. Besides, if you use a ebook management program, where you use to organize all your ebook library, you want to download Google Books to your hard drive. But, ok, there are 3 ways to download Google Books to your desktop:
1. Use the Google’s PDF/EPUB download feature that is available for some out-of-copyright books
2. Download books manually from the Internet Explorer cache
3. Use one of the Google Books downloader programs
For some out-of-copyright books Google Books provides PDF or EPUB download option, that allows you to save (and therefore print and read offline) these books. To find books you can download, click on the "Full view books" radio button before entering your search terms in the search box. Clicking on the "Download" button on the book page will allow you to download a PDF of the book to your computer. Unfortunately, not all books that are fully viewable are downloadable as PDF files. The overall number of books with the full preview there is much larger. So you might be lucky if the book you need is available for download.
2. Download books manually from Internet Explorer cache
The book pages that you can view on Google Books are actually PNG images on HTML page. So, it is possible to save any visible book page as an image to your computer. You can "save page as" in any browser and find the PNG image in the saved "files" folder. But you need to scroll the book and repeat this "save page as" operation for each page.
To make this process a little easier, you can use the following hack:
1. Open folder “C:Documents and Settings%USER%Local SettingsTemporary Internet Files” on your computer and delete all of the content of the folder
2. Open the needed book on Google Books in Internet Explorer and scroll it down to the end (or use the page browser).
3. Open “Temporary Internet Files” folder. Copy all PNG files. These files are the pages of the scanned book
4. Now you can print the PNG files and compile them into single book using a PDF compiler software
There are some tools that automate the routine operations described in the previous paragraph. But unfortunately, most of them don’t work properly – they either download only few book pages, or hang your computer, or cause ban of your Google Account. The most popular tool that was called Google Books Downloader was recently terminated by its creator. For now, the only tool that is recommended for safe downloading of Google Books - is Gooreader.
Though the primary feature of this small program is a comfortable book reader with realistic page flipping that allows to read Google Books on your desktop, it also can convert Google Books to PDF and save them to your computer. It works quite fast and can download a 300-pages book in few minutes. It also includes the inbuilt search tool that shows, which books have a full view, partial preview or no preview. You also can view the number of available pages of each book. Besides, it doesn’t require you to log in your Google Account, so it’s no risk that it could be banned.
Here is a short video, showing how it works:
Please note that Gooreader is useful, but not magic program. It can't open and download these pages that are not available on Google Books in the books with limited preview. The program costs just $9.95, but it's not a big deal if you really need to download Google Books.
Is it legal to download Google Books?
All these books, that you can read or preview at Google Books, are collected from libraries all over the world, scanned and converted to text using OCR by Google employees. Of course, all this content is out of copyright or with copyright given by owner/author. For books that may be protected by copyright, only "snippets" are shown. Nevertheless before making any specific use of downloaded books, you need to confirm the legality of your own actions. The rules regarding public domain materials differ from country to country, and sometimes the specific use is not allowed. That is why a book's inclusion in Google Books doesn’t mean it can be downloaded anywhere in the world. For example, Google recommends not to engage in large scale redistribution or rehosting of the book files, sell digital or physical book copies, or help other people buy and sell them. But you can convert Google Books to PDF for personal reading needs.
See also: Top 5 eBook Readers