Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Gasp! Google Publishes a Book

To cut through the clutter, Google has opted to publish its "Think Quarterly" b-to-b publication on paper and to bind it. Yes, the result in plain English is a hardcover book. And (are you sitting down?) Google will distribute it to marketing execs by postal mail.

Granted, Google's book has a few cool production values most books don't (not even CorporateHistory.net's corporate histories, though we may consider these ideas). Words on the front cover can be moved around, like magnets on a refrigerator. And when you touch the endpapers the colors will change, just like the mood rings you enjoyed in fourth grade.

No big surprise, really, if you recall what Sergey Brin, Google’s cofounder and president of technology, told The New York Times on January 5, 2009: “There is fantastic information in books. Often when I do a search, what is in a book is miles ahead of what I find on a Web site.”

I love to think of Brin sitting in his office with a volume of Shakespeare, getting caught up in Hamlet and discovering the origin of "hoist on his own petard."