If you haven’t heard about Google’s Beta “Print” search, you may want to go take a peek at http://print.google.com/. Like many other Google beta products, I can foresee myself being unexplainable drawn to this where untold hours of my life will be frittered away while perusing the virtual “pages” of books available of every description right here, online!
I’m an avid collector of ebooks, adore the accomplishments of the Gutenberg project, and even collect the eBook versions via websites like www.manybooks.net. To me, being able to “check out” a book on the web without going to the library – or even to my own bookshelf is a great thing. Google adds the ability to SEARCH those books. Yes, SEARCH them.
I sit here, while reading online and berate myself for wasting more time playing with this latest literary online toy and I can’t help but wonder how much faster my work for college would have been if all the classics had been in an online SEARCHABLE database way back then.
You know, I spent HOURS marking up my books, cross referencing and making my points in my extensive literature papers via the old flip and find method. Back then, I was enamored with sticky-notes that allowed me to mark passages without destroying my books and without the bookmarks falling out as I flipped from page to page. Heck, I could even WRITE thoughts on how to incorporate this or that quote on sticky notes. It was heaven. This is better. MUCH better.
I dunno. As much as I like gadgets and research, this may have only served to make my already verbose papers longer. It may have encouraged me even more. As it was, I elected to write an undergraduate thesis to fulfill the requirements of the honors program, rather than taking a class like all the “normal” people did. But I just know I learned more than those opting for the traditional, final honors program credit. But in my version, I got to do lots of research. Hands-on research of my own design. I loved it.
Of course, on the other end of that argument it probably doesn’t make much difference in the long-run. Now, with my memory so overfilled with stuff I don’t even need, I have probably pushed out (with inane details like grocery lists and telephone numbers) more research than I can ever replace in this lifetime. *Shrug* Who knows?
But all that aside, if you haven’t checked out Google Print – Go there! If you love research and literature…Go now! And wave to me, since I’ll probably still be there.