Google Books new features
September 6, 2007 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Google Books has an interesting new feature called "Popular Passages" which shows how many future books have quoted passages from the present book - it's billed as a way to follow literary memes but would be equally helpful in sleuthing for old literary crimes. They've also added "Share and Enjoy" for clipping quotes from public domain books into a blog or notebook.
posted by stbalbach (14 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Popular Passages link is MeFi, yo.
posted by grubi at 9:26 AM on September 6, 2007

Oops first link should be here sorry.
posted by stbalbach at 9:27 AM on September 6, 2007 link to Google Books? (I had to google for it!)
posted by DU at 9:27 AM on September 6, 2007

Holy crap -- Google can see the future?!?

(I think stbalbach means, like, if a book was written in 1940, how many books since then have quoted it...I guess...though that's a pretty awkward way of phrasing it...)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:27 AM on September 6, 2007

Fixed the first link.
posted by cortex at 9:31 AM on September 6, 2007

I don't think you have.
posted by ninebelow at 9:32 AM on September 6, 2007

Websites. Patents. Books. Videos. The night sky. Photos. Planet fucking Earth. How long until we stop calling it "the internet" and just say "the google?"
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 9:37 AM on September 6, 2007 [2 favorites]

a pretty awkward way of phrasing it
true, but original! :)
posted by stbalbach at 9:38 AM on September 6, 2007

true, but original! :)

(*Psssst!* Original, yes, but I think the word you may be looking for in place of "future" is "subsequent." :) )
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:40 AM on September 6, 2007

If only there were some way to determine which books came before other books. Ah well.

*goes back to reading newly-published-for-all-I-know Code of Hammurabi*
posted by DU at 10:55 AM on September 6, 2007 [2 favorites]

Hey, this is pretty neat. I went to the About page for Pound's Cantos and found a bunch of Popular passages; here are the top three, the first being entirely predictable (and note the "1892" date, showing off one of the dumbest thing about Google Books, the inability to deal with dates):
Pull down thy vanity, I say pull down. But to have done instead of not doing this is not vanity To have, with decency, knocked That a Blunt should open To have gathered from the air a live tradition or from a fine old eye the unconquered flame This is not vanity. Here error is all in the not done, all in the diffidence that faltered - Page 541
Appears in 143 books from 1892-2006

out of Homer. And he sailed, by Sirens and thence outward and away And unto Circe. Venerandam, In the Cretan's phrase, with the golden crown, Aphrodite, Cypri munimenta sortita est, mirthful, orichalchi, with golden Girdles and breast bands, thou with dark eyelids Bearing the golden bough of Argicida. So that: - Page 5
Appears in 64 books from 1917-2005

HANG it all, Robert Browning, there can be but the one " Sordello." But Sordello, and my Sordello? Lo Sordels si fo di Mantovana. So-shu churned in the sea. Seal sports in the spray-whited circles of cliff-wash, Sleek head, daughter of Lir, eyes of Picasso Under black fur-hood, lithe daughter of Ocean; And the wave runs in the beach-groove: - Page 6
Appears in 61 books from 1918-2006
posted by languagehat at 11:07 AM on September 6, 2007

I had no idea you can set up your own library. When did that happen?
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 2:06 PM on September 6, 2007

[This is good].

This is already done in science journals and allows you to easily follow the paper-trail back to the beginning of a meme. Citations and quotes are also a measure of popularity, just as hyperlinks are on the Web.

By doing this, Google can also apply their page-rank algorithms to books and provide more relevant book search results.
posted by chrisamiller at 6:15 PM on September 6, 2007

The personal library feature is new also. Although it seems feature-poor compared to LibraryThing.
posted by stbalbach at 7:20 PM on September 6, 2007

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