Publisher 010 Uitgeverij has made what I think is probably a smart decision to put their 2004 title Dutch Type by Jan Middendorp in Google Book Search. Of course we have seen public domain books in GBS for some time (by the way, it is absurd for Google to claim any proprietary rights at all on those titles just because they scanned them), but recently more publishers have been moving toward allowing their copyrighted materials into the program as a strategy for book marketing and promotion.
Dutch and Flemish type is certainly one of the most distinguished traditions in the West, and one that has been the most consistently productive over the centuries. What some people think of as distinctly British type — Caslon, notably — is really type work in the Dutch tradition. Moreover, some the liveliest current typefaces are being produced from this region. Check out this beautiful half title page:
Google Book Search puts the entire book online. Tables of Contents such as this one are functional just as in print books as one can skip to a particular page. The quality of the scans, however, is a little disappointing (but you can zoom in and out, and you can also choose to view either single pages or spreads).
Here is a detail from a sample text page with an image:
This illustrates how Google’s search feature returns results:
Google Book Search’s overview page provides links to reviews and references:
There’s a keyword feature. I guess it could be useful.
And a related books feature, which is sure to expand as more titles enter the program:
A Google Maps mashup provides a mapping function that could be useful in some instances:
So are you really going to want to read this entire book of 320 pages online? (In contrast to Project Gutenberg, GBS does not provide texts in a conveniently downloadable format.) Probably not. I would think of this instead as analogous to a bookstore that provides chairs for people to sit and browse. Instead of providing only a small portion of content, the entire book is available for your perusal. I suspect that on balance this will lead to more book sales. GBS provides links for buying the book or for finding it in a library:
One annoying feature of Book Search is that, although there is a “full screen” option in the read pages view, there seems to be no way to remove the search bar at the top of the overview pages (as you can with Google Image Search, for example). Moreover,whatever term is in that box will be highlighted wherever it occurs in the book pages. The best workaround that I’ve found is to search for a term that rarely occurs so that there are a minimum of highlights. I wish this header could go away, however, as it is using up valuable real estate on the screen.
Dutch Type is expensive at 62.50 euros (about US$86) direct from the publisher (shipping to U.S. must be expensive since the book weighs 3.5 pounds) and $99 from Amazon; I haven’t checked other vendors’ prices. Below is a link in case you’d like to buy the book from Amazon. For alternative sources go to the book search page, as explained above, or visit your favorite independent bookstore.