Resurrected Entertainment

My Book Library

February 13, 2013

I like to read software development texts when I have the time, and over time, I have developed a sizeable game and graphics programming library. I also have a below average capacity to remember important details, although I am usually fairly good at remembering the big picture. Because of this, I often need to return to a text when I am involved in developing a new algorithm or researching information on existing topics. I have long desired a means by which I can add my books to a software library, and then have that library automatically index all of my books based on topical reference points.

When an author creates an index for their book, it is usually a tedious process of reading through the manuscript and finding the keywords and concepts they want to index, and then pouring over the manuscript looking for instances of those keywords and recording page numbers and related topics; there is software which can help with keyword indexing, but concepts are a little more tricky to isolate and cross reference. In either case, the result of all of this pain-staking labour is an index which should prove useful to the reader.

I want to take it a step further and take those indexes and make them searchable electronically along with extra-metadata, so that if I am researching a topic like collision detection, for instance, I can see which books in my library talk about it (and possibly the number of pages dedicated to the topic), along with a paragraph surrounding each hit to provide some context. Google Books is starting to provide such a service, but it’s mostly centred around indexing the brief cover summary and then offering related books for sale based on what it found. At the bare minimum, this service would require the electronic versions of the books which are much more prevalent these days but many authors or publishers do not want to share with Google. Do you know of a service which does a better job than Google Books?

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