Finding Indological full-book PDFs on Google Books

Jonathan Silk silk at HUMNET.UCLA.EDU
Mon Jun 18 04:00:46 UTC 2007

Dear  Tim,

Just a quick note: I do understand the logic that something can be 
better than nothing. But I think the concern is that if one is going 
to do something, it should be done right (not as much as a 
philosophical stance as a practical one). And if something is done by 
Google, even if badly, is it then likely that it will be done later 
better? Is it not a case of bad coin driving out good?

Then, specifically:

>.  I did look at the pages Jonathan mentioned, and although several
>had distortions along the left edge of the pages, they were quite

Page 211--left side distorted, but yes, legible
212: approximately 1/5 of the [right side of the] page missing 
because it was placed on the scanner at a diagonal--to me, this does 
not count as 'quite legible'
213 more or less = 211
214 --the page was moved during scanning, such that a large part of 
the right side is indeed not legible.

All of these problems and worse can be found throughout the whole 
book--at a very rough guess about every second or third page has this 
type of trouble, which almost systematically leaves part of the text 
legible-- the rate of trouble is astonishing (and far beyond that 
even of the old Indian reprints, or the work of even sloppy student 
assistants). I would not fear contradicton to say that  as now 
available Burnouf's book is unreadable in the Google version. And 
this does not even address the issue of huge portions of some books 
missing, the book scanned not being the book catalogued (e.g., who in 
the Google group would scan PW when  their records indicate that they 
already have it? yet, as I said, it is not PW at all...) etc

Sorry--my quick note was not so quick. With this, I'm done with this 
topic, with the wish that those of us with a professional interest in 
a relatively narrow field might profitably discuss (in future, in a 
different forum?) how to prepare the relatively limited corpus of key 
materials we all are likely to find useful to have on our hard-drives.

Jonathan Silk
Department of Asian Languages & Cultures
Center for Buddhist Studies
290 Royce Hall
Box 951540
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1540
phone: (310) 206-8235
fax:  (310) 825-8808
silk (at)

 From July 15, 2007:

Prof. Dr. Jonathan Silk
Instituut Kern / Universiteit Leiden
Postbus 9515
2300 RA Leiden

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