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Thursday, April 3, 2008

So, I’m Reviewing…

posted by on April 3 at 15:22 PM

… this early 18th-century play this weekend and I don’t have it in my extensive collection of Restoration comedies (just kidding—my collection of Restoration comedies is basically limited to The Way of the World in an anthology). I want to read The Beaux Stratagem before I see it. Enter Google Books.



What kind of jokers are they hiring to digitize these things? This is pathetic.

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Jokers like me, actually.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 3, 2008 3:25 PM

Adrian, Jonah and now Annie. It's hate the little servant people Thursday!

Posted by elenchos | April 3, 2008 3:27 PM

Annie, I thought that was a very artistically blurred scan. I would probably frame it and hang that in my living room. Not joking.

Posted by Katelyn | April 3, 2008 3:33 PM

You deserve to have no Restoration comedies, you young minx.

Posted by mattymatt | April 3, 2008 3:37 PM

That's usually outsourced to the Phillippines...seriously.

Posted by michael strangeways | April 3, 2008 3:46 PM

They use robots to turn the pages. See for instance the following:

Posted by Neal Walfield | April 3, 2008 3:49 PM

"This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project
to make the world’s books discoverable online."

Download the pdf file. It will make you sick.

Posted by elswinger | April 3, 2008 4:12 PM

If you've ever spent any time looking at old census microfilm, you will have come across one of the many pages that have a 1920s worker's hand spread out across the page obscuring the text. He or she didn't get it out of the camera in time. You can't go back and look at the original, because the government destroyed those to save space. sucks if it's your data that's so tantalizingly close.

If you're familiar with the shoddiness of the microfilming work that was perpetrated against libraries back in the day, you'll know why some people are a bit skeptical of grandiose claims for scanning and whatnot "making paper obsolete".

Posted by Fnarf | April 3, 2008 4:23 PM

The Beaux Stratagem is one of my least favorite plays ever.

In case you were wondering.

Posted by j4zz3rgrl | April 3, 2008 4:38 PM

Fnarf, the least Google could do is have a disclaimer at the beginning of the text.

Posted by elswinger | April 3, 2008 4:39 PM

Oh, I quite agree. But their mandate is "we have x zillion books", not "we take care with what we're doing, and care that you're satisfied".

Posted by Fnarf | April 3, 2008 4:44 PM

Has anyone ever actually finished reading The Way of the World? I got about halfway through before I bailed.

Posted by Greg | April 3, 2008 4:51 PM

"Dammit, I'm paying good money to get these digitized versions of books and I shouldn't have to put up with such shoddy work!"

Oh, yeah. Nevermind...

Posted by tomcat98109 | April 3, 2008 4:51 PM

Forget the scan, the text looks awful. I'd cancel if I were you. Anything that has "Here, here" = barf.

Posted by josh | April 3, 2008 5:00 PM

You know you can flag the page as unreadable? It's on the right sidebar, at the bottom.

Posted by w7ngman | April 3, 2008 6:18 PM

Would you like some "hoo" with your "boo"

Posted by Andy | April 3, 2008 6:32 PM

I've done high-speed scanning for crap wages. Want better scans? Pay the workers better.

Posted by Dude | April 4, 2008 12:41 AM

This reminds me of my free-internet-porn-is-too-poorly-lit hissy fit of last week.

Posted by chris | April 4, 2008 9:25 AM

I mean it is free, so I guess we shouldn't complain THAT much.

Nonetheless, it was kind of a downer once I realized how many Google books are completely unreadable. It isn't even worth doing if they're not going to bother making the images clear and readable.

Posted by Ashley | April 4, 2008 10:03 AM

At least the production was good, even if the digitized text wasn't.

Posted by Chester | April 9, 2008 8:35 AM

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