REVIEW - Google Pocket Guide


Google Pocket Guide


Tara Calishain, Rael Dornfest, DJ Adams



O'Reilly (2003)




Francis Glassborow


August 2003



This one calls itself a guide rather than a reference but the format is the same. However this book is immensely more viable than most of O'Reilly's Pocket References/Guides. Google is exactly the kind of tool where you do not need to know everything or even be reasonably well-informed in order to use it. There are literally millions of users of Google most of whom know very little about how to narrow down searches, phrase better queries etc. They do not need detailed books such as the one I reviewed in the last issue. What they need is a relatively inexpensivebook that will take them a few steps further.

Unfortunately many of them will need something even less intimidating than this one but a substantial proportion would be helped by having this one close at hand. I can imagine running a short set of adult education classes about surfing the net and using search engines with this book as a take away at the end.

It focuses on the main features of Google but includes a short section on Froogle. However it does implicitly highlight that Google is a US product. The rest of the world has telephone numbers and there are many academic institutions that do not have .edu addresses.

The complaints are about US institutions and not about this book, which well serves a very large potential readership

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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