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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

on 9 November 2010
I did not know about Robert Darnton (much to my regret) until I came across the book and it was purely because of the cover! it is beautiful and very, very apt, considering the ongoing debate about books and eBooks. Its a collection of 11 essays, all very engaging, informative and thought provoking. Not to be overlooked if one has anything whatsoever to do with publishing. Some of the ideas people are just beginning to broach about the possibilities of eBooks, Robert had them all figured out way back in the XX century.

While he is optimistic, encouraging and open to eBooks and eBook technology, he is an unashamed lover of the printed word!
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on 13 March 2013
Robert Darnton is fantastic! His arguments are well thought out and related; the essays are well connected clearly outlining the theme and objectives of the book. An easy read that will leave you pensive on the past, present and future of books, print, digital and otherwise.
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on 16 May 2010
This book offered a great insight into the world of digitised books, as well as exploring the history and importance of "old" books and Libraries amongst other things (as the cover states past, present and future) The way in which Darnton has put his thoughts and work together made it a pleasure to read. I had originally planned to just skip through the pages very briefly in order to add some quotes/ info to an Essay I have to write on the subject, but I have to say that I was surprised to find that i couldn't stop myself from reading it properly. I didn't know anything about this subject area and I felt that this book is a great introduction to the field.
Although this is irrelevant to the content of the book, i have to comment on the cover which I just love.
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on 24 November 2010
There was the beginning, covering details of the Google Book Settlement, fine, that was OK, then it was pages and pages of boring writing repeatedly deploring how we are now threatened by the Google Book Monopoly, literally a whinge about how the Rebulic of Letters didn't work in the C18th, and how Google owning so much of the book world through digitalising it all is a direct threat to public freedom to access information. You could have argued that just as well in 4 pages.
Finally on pg 37 we get to how exactly Google might be a weaker form of book-archiving than is generally believed - I have to read the rest of it, but given the title I was expecting something much more cooly written and much less sentimental, like adult level writing is.
We'll see if it improves by the end.
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