Behind the scenes, here’s what it’s doing, which is pretty simple: i) You type in a query, and ii) my app sends it to Google Books, and filters the results for pre-1927 public domain. Then iii) it picks one at random and displays it to you.
Now, relying on Google Books is not a great way to build a tool like this. For starters, the Google Books API only returns a maximum of 40 books, and sometimes your search query will only match maybe ten or nine books. So if you repeat a query a few times, you’ll likely see the same books crop up.
But overall, it does what I wanted it to. I can open it up, throw in a search term, and within seconds be flipping through a weird old book.
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