google books = good bread
Not long ago, my parents and I went to Seva restaurant here in Ann Arbor... my favorite local spot for vegetarian food and hipster-gazing near the PBR tap. That night, they were featuring parsnip chowder on the menu. Very good soup and apparently the only recipe that Seva has ever given away. Our server informed us that it had been in Vegetarian Times years ago, but that was as much as she could tell us. I used all of my librarian super powers (in this case, the AADL Research page) to track it down. The VT section of the database yielded nothing and did not seem to go back that far. Our periodicals section at the downtown branch seemed like it might have my recipe, but I still wasn't sure of the year. So... I did a Google search, and the recipe is in Google Books. Sometimes we librarians get a little prickly about stuff like this, but I am glad to know that I have multiple resources at my disposal. Indeed, I recently discovered the best bread recipe in the universe on the shelves of the library in the Tassajara Bread Book, and of course someone put it on hold. I'll check it out again (or maybe buy it), but in the meantime, the preview copy of the book has the basic Tassajara recipe in it. I baked my bread directly from the laptop this weekend and managed to keep most of the dough off of the keyboard.
The details of the Google Book Settlement are still being discussed and interpreted, and as a society we still need to figure out fair ways to use digital books like this. But it's a resource to keep on your radar screen and in your recipe book. No doubt, the delicious food that you may make from these books will stimulate rich discussion of digital publishing and copyright at the dinner table.