Friday, August 10, 2007

Life, Death, Sex and E-books

We have an e-book collection called NetLibrary. Last I heard, we have over 50,000 books available online, but I wanted to see how much that number has grown since I last checked. The most direct way to find out would be to contact someone in Collection Management here in the library, but I decided to try to hack it out myself by doing a full-text search. All books should contain at least one instance of words like “a,” “the,” “of,” “or,” “for,” but NetLibrary considers these “junk words” and won’t search on them alone. So I tried others.

How many books contain other common words?

Man: 47,146
Woman: 36,346
Life: 54,256
Death: 44,728
Sex: 29,746
Love: 40,318
Hate: 21,118
Cat: 18,456
Dog: 24,680
Eat: 30,675
Starve: 6,113
Republican: 14,236
Democrat: 7,369

As the “Life” search shows, there are at least 54,256 books in the NetLibrary online book collection. What can you find?

– Amy

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