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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

University Press Associated Stands-Up Against Google

The Association of American University Presses has taken a strong stand against Google's latest attempt to digitize some of the largest libraries in the world. As I read the media coverage of the the AAUP's letter to Google, the more I realize how trouble Google's plan is for online bookselling.

Nonfiction books are the strongest used titles for most online booksellers. Thanks to their limited production, many maintain strong resale values. Unfortunately, as books become accessible through Google there will be an inevitable declension of demand for the backlisted, and even new, academic titles. As a former Grad Student, I spent much of my fellowship on books. Moreover, independent of our own condition, keep in mind that these publishers are not corporations, but rather struggling nonprofits who provide an invaluable resource to the American intellectual community.