Google is presently in court, seeking a favorable decision on what could be one of the most important cases in history. The world's largest Internet company wants to create an online library of multiplied millions of volumes, featuring excerpts from or whole volumes of the greatest books ever written.
This is a very good thing. While undoubtedly a certain amount of trash will find its way to the Google stacks, that will be more than compensated for by the ability of people all over the world to access good books they otherwise might never be able to obtain. The possibilities are unlimited for opening important conversations about the great truths and abiding issues that confront human beings in every culture and time. There are concerns about monopoly and Google becoming a book cartel, but these seem small compared to having readily available great books from every culture and time.
Of course, the presumption is that people will actually want to read them. I doubt that cost is the primary factor keeping people glued more to their TVs and video games than the pages of a good book. However, given the growing Internet habit of just about anyone who knows how to use a computer, and the dominance of Google as a search engine, I can only believe that the availability of such a library as Google is arguing for will be a boon to interest in eternal truth.
We should pray that this project will come to pass, and that the Lord will be pleased to use it to open the minds of men and women to other ways of thinking and seeing the world besides the stale secularism of our present age. Through books people can gain experiences of beauty, goodness, and truth they might not obtain anywhere else, and if multiplied millions begin reading again with new interest and open minds, the possibilities for engaging in serious conversations about truth should begin increasing for the followers of Christ in no time.
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