Putting together a presentation for the Scholastic sales reps I am meeting tomorrow, I stumbled across the most fabulously useful thing - Google Book Search.
Google, as you may know if you're an online information nerd like me (hey I did work in the area for five years so I'm allowed...), are planning to digitize all the books in the world. Well, as many as they can get their mitts on. There was a hoo-hah about this for a while. Quelle horreur, authors and publishers all going to lose out; that sort of thing.
Well today I had planned to do the following - for just one of my presentation slides:
1. Go downstairs and find my copy of 'Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan' by the original Mayanist, John Lloyd Stephens.
2. Find the page where he mentions the rumours of a 'living city' of the Maya
3. Go down to our garden office and scan the page.
4. Manipulate the image file on my computer at my desk, back in the house.
5. Pop it into the Powerpoint slide.
Not so difficult, aye, but remember I actually own this book.
But with Google Books, here's how that scenario played out:
1. Search on Google, find the book.
2. Search for the string 'living city' - find the right page.
3. Use the inbuilt screenshot clipping tool to clip an image of the page, the bit where he mentions the mysterious city
4. Pop it into the Powerpoint slide.
5 mins in total.
Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan By John Lloyd Stephens
Now is that not awesome?
(If you read 'Invisible City' you'll find that this section of the 'Incidents of Travel' book is referenced. I'm not saying why...that's all a bit of a mystery, to be unraveled in later books...)
SPOILER ALERT IN THE COMMENTS!
I have one lovely comment from a guy who read the book for the waterstones competition, but you should be warned that there are spoilers for INVISIBLE CITY therein...