Google Books, However!
Google Books has become my constant companion during my dissertation research. You can see it up on my extra monitor below (I’ve been studying this past week at a basement hideout in a secret, no cellphones location far from South Carolina!).
I’m reading again through a very helpful book, Faithful Feelings by Matthew Elliott (it was his dissertation at Aberdeen), and I frequently check Google Books to see if I can read more of the pages he cites. For example, he cites Davies and Allison’s ICC volume on Matthew on the page open before me. So I looked it up. Sure enough, I found the citation and a few more tidbits besides. I happen to be studying “love” more or less at the moment, so a quick search of the whole volume showed me where I might get some of those tidbits.
Google Books has enriched my footnotes—and, more importantly, my knowledge—immeasurably by making available to me immediately (so I don’t lose my train of thought) books that, at best, could reach me in a few days otherwise. As that last sentence may reveal, my train of thought likes to jump to parallel tracks and then back, so this is a great boon!
I couldn’t help noticing something funny, however, in the “key words and phrases” Google automatically generated for the following book. Seems like the guy must qualify himself a lot!