I don’t often have good things to say about Google – and my general distrust was heightened by the two Google speakers at last week’s Information Industry Summit, who were very bright people who have either drunk the Koolaid and become true believing evangelists for everything that’s online or just been wowed by wonderful salaries and bonuses. The absence of anything in their speeches to suggest critical thinking about the role of Google or online media was glaring, and coming right on the heels of an anti-Internet diatribe, equally unbalanced, from Andrew Keen, author of the Cult of the Amateur: How the Internet is Killing Our Culture, I was left feeling again caught between the evangelists and the naysayers. But this morning I found something rather wonderful in Google Books, a 1896 guide to mending all manner of household items called A Manual of Mending and Repairing with Diagrams. This is fun, and useful – though I’m not sure commercially viable if all Google scanned was books like this, and definitely out of copyright. I’m trying to figure out how to sew leather patches on the elbows of my favorite cashmere sweater, and actually haven’t managed to find any good advice on that. But I love this book, and appreciate having it available.
A good word for Google Books
About the Author: Karen Christensen
Karen Christensen is the CEO of Berkshire Publishing.