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A history of Nottinghamshire.  I found it on Google Books.

A history of Nottinghamshire. I found it on Google Books.

Let’s take a moment, shall we?  Lets.  For what, you ask?  To talk about digial books in the format other than the Kindle.  The Kindle has broken my heart.  The Kindle is dead to me, up until the point when I get a free one.  Then it will be alive to me.  

Anyhow, the issue here is Google Books.  People are suing Google Books so they will stop doing their Google Book thing.  Honestly, I’m not sure I get this.  I am all for keep a tight grip on my own intellectual property, but for books already in the public domain, I don’t see the problem.  The truth is, for researchers who don’t happen to live next door to a major research institution, Google books is the greatest research tool ever devised.  Ever.  I don’t want fewer things available.  I want more.  If you do any sort of historical research and you don’t use Google Books, I suggest you stop not using it at once.  And start using it.

Right now, for example, I’ve been doing research on early 19th century Nottingham.  Resources in San Antonio are pretty limited, but on Google books I can find and download tons of material – great 19th and early 20th century histories of the area.  These are the kinds of loosely written, gossipy histories that are of limited use to real historians – you know, the people who need to get things right. 

A cow with two heads.  I did not find it on Google Books, but in all honestly, i didn't really look.

A cow with two heads. I did not find it on Google Books, but in all honestly, i didn't really look.

To someone like me who just makes a bunch of crap up anyhow, it’s perfect.  So as long as Google Books is helping make money, and not costing me money, I say we should leave them alone.  And be nice to them.

One Response to “”

  1. Ed Inglish says:

    Don’t give up on Kindle, it’s the most fun reading I’ve had in years. It’s so good, you might even consider paying for one! I downloaded all three Benjamin Weaver novels on my Kindle. I haven’t quite finished THE DEVIL’S COMPANY, but I hope you’re not giving up on Miriam – I think she would be a great help to Benjamin in future investigations.

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