July 04, 2007
A Good Time to Be Alive
As wary as I am of Google's data-gobbling tendencies as they relate to my personal life (see this recent article in Wired for an overview; I've been using Scroogle for most of my searches for over a year now), I have to now sing the praises of its selective usefulness.
That book up there? Is somewhere. But I can't find it, and it's one of D's and my favorites. What's worse, until about 7 second ago, I couldn't remember the title. I knew it had the word "legends" in it, but that wouldn't have gotten me very far in the old days of searching... just try typing "legends" into the search engine over at Powells and see what you get!
But as it turns out, in the world we're living in, I do remember enough about that book to remember it with electronic assistance!
Google's Book Search (still in beta, but fully functional for my purposes) searches the CONTENTS of books. Having read it out loud many time, I remember multiple phrases from that book with crystalline clarity. So, I scooted on over to Google books (http://books.google.com) and typed in a phrase from the song that Mahuika sings while Maui is still up in the air: "Up you go to the first level!" And look at what comes up!
Reference librarians, book-sellers, and grandparents wanting to reintroduce the books of their youth to the next generation should all be doing little dances of glee. I know I am.