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Just a proof of concept Google Books downloader.

This script started as a pet project to learn about CasperJS, but since it might be helpful to other people, I have decided to release it.

Google Books is a great source of information, but I would love to have an offline version of some books to read later on my iPad.

I wanted to scrape the HTML and extract all the image information that contains the actual pages, but Google Books implements lazy loading to download the pages as you scroll down on the page.

Thus, the only way to extract the images is using an actual, javascript enabled browser. Or a a headless implementation of one, and this is where PhantomJS comes in :)

I have put together some very ugly code that loads a book on Google Books, scrolls all the way down and saves all the pages in PNG format. Now that CasperJS supports file downloading properly, I have changed the standard behavior of printing the URLs of the files to download afterwards with wget, but I would like to have it as an option.

In the future, I would like to generate a PDF with all the pages together. Wanna help me out? :)


  • CapserJS 1.0.0-RC1
  • PhantomJS 1.6.1

Known Limitations

  • The book URL is hardcoded
  • The script downloads the pages automatically, since the download bug was fixed
  • It does not download books with limited preview (though I have plans to add proxy and Tor support to bypass the preview limitation :)


casperjs gbd.js


[ ] Load the URL from the command line [ ] Change the filenames to make it easier to combine or read all the files [ ] Merge the files to PDF


Just a proof of concept Google Books downloader



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