A Short Thesis: The “Book Search” Process As a Harbinger for Revolution

In the pre-modern age, when computers and internet were not prevalent or not discovered it was tougher for people to share or gain knowledge. For scholars of those ages it was a tough task to aggregate knowledge, especially given the variety of languages in which knowledge abounds. The time it took for scholars to get their hands on specific paperback copies of books was substantial, and in addition to that a research endeavour involved searching through multiple books. The combination of the search process itself and the time taken to acquire paperbacks made the research process for the scholar a daunting one. A result of this laborious process was: people started thinking of ways to make the book search process more efficient. With the advent of computers and internet came the advent of the online library. This has been one of the greatest gifts to students. Now, students can search books of importance sitting at any place without wasting valuable time. This is just one example showing the need of an efficient book search process.

The other example that exemplifies the need for the efficient “book search” process is the innate thirst for information by human beings. Now it is virtually impossible for a person to get hold of paperback versions of all the books in print. Before the advent of online libraries people’s knowledge frontier was limited due to a lack of options. Now, with the click of a button the world of books open up. To search for books of choice has never been easier. The unique search procedure available in these online libraries has saved time and improved the book search process immensely.

The last example I will discuss that highlights the need for an efficient book search process touches on core areas of the society such as law and religion. In days of yore, the intellectual and religious elite kept the common man in perpetual economic and religious/spiritual slavery as a result of the scarcity of paperbacks. From the Catholic Church, to the English Christian establishment of the 10th through 13th centuries, stories abound of concerted attempts by the ruling class to maintain dominion over the populace through the restriction of mass Bible publications. It could be argued that the book search process is the harbinger of development. In the days of old the search and eventual discovery and mastery of knowledge was a precursor to revolutions across Europe. Today, we are in a new phase of the book search process. The internet, the online library, the social libraries have taken the book search process to a new frontier. As history as previously shown, we are probably on the cusp of another revolution. The question is what type of revolution?

Google Book Project Adds UC to Its Library Roster

California joins Harvard, Oxford, Stanford, the University of Michigan and the New York Public Library in the Google Book Search project. It is known that The University of California holds 100 libraries on 10 campuses across the state and ranks as the largest research and academic library in the world.

Reports says that Google is working with the U.S. Library of Congress on a similar effort, For Google, the new momentum for its Book Search Project is the latest in a string of high-profile deals it has announced over the past week in which it signed a major search and advertising contract with News Corp., the owner of MySpace.com, and a video advertising and delivery deal with Viacom, owner of MTV, were amongst the people who has a done deal with the search engine mammoth.

Jennifer Colvin, a spokeswoman for the University of California’s digital library arm, said “We know that we will be digitizing several million volumes but not the entire 34 million.”

Google Books product manager Adam Smith confirmed that the project would scan books numbering “in the millions,” but declined to offer specific targets in terms of the number of books or the scope of financing Google planned to provide. The Google Book Search project was a far larger in scope than its undertaking with the Yahoo-Microsoft funded group.

How to Build Your Personal Development Library

One of the secrets of highly successful people is that many of them digest huge volumes of information in the form of books, audio courses, and videos. Most of these successful people have fairly extensive personal development libraries that they rely upon for guidance and solutions. I suggest that you model this habit and start developing your own personal development library. Brian Tracy says that you should invest approximately 3% of your income into your own personal development and growth. So if your income is around $4,000 a month that means you should spend approximately $150 in personal development products and seminars to promote your own self improvement. Here are some tips to help you build a useful personal development library of your own:

o Binder your information. While books are great resources, I have found that many books contain only a few noteworthy gems of information in them–if even that. I have read many articles, on the other hand, that contain equal amounts of informational gems without all the fluff. These articles are of high value to me and are worth saving for future reference. You should make it a habit to archive these articles for future reference by punching holes in them and placing them in a 3 ring binder. Make sure you clearly label your binders, so that you know what is contained within them. Also, at the front of the binder, you should create a table of contents so that you can find the information more quickly. In this way, you can begin to build your personal development library with information that is of high value to you and get rid of the low-value stuff.

o Purchase bookshelves. One of the first things that you must do when developing your own personal development library is to begin by purchasing bookshelves to hold your collection. Start with one or two bookshelves to begin with and eventually purchase as many bookshelves as you can afford and as your space allows in your home because your subconscious mind will seek ways to fill those bookshelves with books.

o Write in your books. Don’t be afraid to write in your books. Use your books as working documents. Highlight, underline, and leave notes in your books so that you can come back to it later and go straight to the points that are of key interest to you.

o Organize your books. Organize your personal development resources according to subject and by how valuable the book is to you. This will make it very easy for you to retrieve information later.

o Check out your own books. On the inside of the cover of each of your books, write the date when you last reviewed that particular book so that you know how often you refer back to that book.

o Rank your books. Unfortunately, a good majority of books out there are of little or no value, but occasionally, you will come across books that have some very useful gems of information in them. The best way to organize your books is to give them a rank from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most value to you. Purchase small circular yellow labels from your local office supply store and on the spine of the books and write a score from 1 to 10. By doing so you will know exactly which books have the most value to you when you revisit those informational products.

o Get rid of low-ranking books. Books that have received a low review score from you, according to the above-stated tip, should be discarded as these bring little value to your library and only serve to use up precious shelf space. I suggest you photocopy or transcribe your notes from those books onto your computer and then discard, give away, or sell those books.

o Purchase audio books. Audio books are a great time-saver because you can learn while not investing any extra time during your day towards learning. You can transform your car into a university classroom on your daily work commute. Listen to them over and over again to reinforce the teachings and concepts. When you have finished with an audio book, then archive it in your library just like a book. Now with the popularity of ipods and other portable music players, you can actually store your whole personal development audio books onto your portable music device and take it with you anywhere you go.

o Treat yourself to videos. Some people are visual learners, so it therefore becomes necessary to supplement your library with personal development related videos. Videos are a great source of learning and you should dedicate some shelf space solely for these videos.

Remember that your personal development library is your reference guide to life. It will contain all the solutions to struggles that others have gone through and overcome. It contains the mind gems from all the greatest experts in personal development that have lived or are living right now. As your own level of personal development matures throughout life, so should your personal development library grow with you.