In the last post, I spoke about the difference between King Lear as an abstract idea (what readers want) and the many material copies of King Lear that Google has gathered into its database (what they get). Certainly, the preservationist aspect of the project is impressive.


I started using Google Books heavily in 2008 in the last sprint of dissertation writing. How useful it was to be able to chase up a peskily errant quotation or to type “University town: University press” with conviction!

Hannah Sullivan's picture
Hannah Sullivan
Hannah Sullivan teaches in the English department at Oxford. She works on British and American modernism, the history of the book, the text, and textual thought.