I’m all for the indexing of books in print. I want to assure the publishers that I will still buy books(if not even moreso), if/when Google Print gets its way.
But read this first. It’s about an author who wants Google Print to index her book so that more people will find her book. Unfortunately, her publisher against it, and rather decided to sue Google instead.
It’s interesting. Go read it (well, the article, then you can consider the book).
Please allow me to conclude with my own experience with print and digital literature. I like reading. I always have, but I admit that it sometimes falls by the wayside when I feel stressfully busy. Still, I do like to think of myself as an active reader. To make things concrete, I’m in the middle of Merton’s “No Man is an Island,” Dorfman’s “The Empire’s Old Clothes,” Wong’s “Fifth Chinese Daughter,” and Wells’ “The Invisible Man.” The last of these, I read on my PDA. Ooooh. Digital book. I didn’t pay money for a print edition. Uh-oh. But of the others, one is from the library, and I *did* pay for the others. Would I have paid money for them if they were available free? Maybe. I still buy books that I really should borrow from the library– I doubt anyone has space to store all the books one has read. I could if they were digital, but I do like reading from print rather than screen. I have no idea how digital paper would change things, but right now, I find it much more pleasant to read a book and flip pages. I only read on the PDA because it can go *everywhere* with me.
I also fully support the complete digitization of all books or media out of copyright or in the public domain. Indexing of current works seems fine, too. Instead of the hassle of tricking Google into revealing the book, it might be faster to just scan/photocopy a library’s copy. I side with Google in believing that indexing will surely help book sales. I also believe that copyright terms are already longer than they need to be. If the work has so much lasting appeal, let it one day be free to benefit the public. The author has had ample time to receive her reward, so why not?
This also reminds me of how I have this pop CD I bought when it was cool 5 years ago, and I accidentally damaged it recently, and it’s out of print, so I *can’t* get a replacement copy. Since the CD price has nothing to do with media cost, I *should* be able to get another one minimal cost. But I can’t. Hey, I have a license, what gives? Is the distribution the cost? Then I also wonder how those pirates in China can turn a profit if they pay for production and distribution while charging a dollar a piece.
It’s a mad, mad world.