Thursday, September 13, 2012

Gobsmacked by Google

I've always been very happy to read long excerpts from other people's works so this isn't a complaint, but I am a little bit stunned by the size of the preview of For Love and Money which has been made available by Google Books; it seems to be over a fifth of the total. Presumably when it's your own work you have a better impression of quite how long the excerpt is relative to the total.

If you haven't read For Love and Money but would be interested in seeing the introduction and an explanation of how romance novels can be written in a variety of literary modes, you can now do so for free.

While I'm on the topic of Google Books, I may as well mention that page 352 of the tenth edition of A Glossary of Literary Terms includes the following about romance novels:
The history and analysis of this novelistic form has increasingly become the subject of scholarly investigation; it now has its own literary periodical, the Journal of Popular Romance Studies, begun in 2010. Refer to Carol Thurston, The Romance Revolution (1987); and Pamela Regis, A Natural History of the Romance Novel (2003).
I'm pleased to see that JPRS is beginning to beginning to be more widely known and I'm also pleased (and very intrigued) by the fact that the Glossary has chosen to highlight Pam Regis and Carol Thurston's studies of the romance. I wonder if we can take it as a sign that at long last Janice Radway's Reading the Romance has lost its preeminent position.


  1. Personally, I love Google previews. LOVE them. They allow me to get a feel of whether or not a book would be good for my research before I schlepp to the library or buy it.

    1. Oh, I love them too. They've been extremely helpful to me so I'm not complaining that I've got to reciprocate with one of my own books. In fact, I expect it'll help people stumble across FLAM who might otherwise not have known it existed.

      It was just a bit of a shock to realise quite how long the excerpt was (particularly as the pagination's continuous). But if that's what I've been getting of other people's work then I've got no grounds for complaint ;-)

    2. I think it depends on the book, company, date published, fiction v/s non-fiction. I have found massive excerpts of some books, and not so much as a mouse-doot-sized preview of others.