Google Books has digitized ‘the bulk of’ the Bodleian Library’s public domain books, mostly 19th-century works.
Which makes this rather good news for me: Google has teamed up with Sony to provide up to 7 million public domain ebooks via Sony’s online book store in the open ePub format (you’ll still be able to download PDFs directly from Google books). Good news for me because my latest plaything is the pretty shiny Sony eBook Reader (did I mention its pretty-shiny-ness?). Disappointing, though, that the Sony online book store is still Windows only. Boo Sony.
And meanwhile, in the Trouble with Physical Books department:
The British Library has lost 9000 books. (They say mislaid, not stolen. But how do they know?) To put this in perspective, of course, the BL delivers 3.5 million items a year to the reading rooms, and these are losses over a long period of time. (H-T.)
And the Bodleian is running out of space. Should we worry, at all, just a teensy bit, about what they might decide to do with some of those space-occupying dusty old books which have now been digimatized?