I had a look at Google Book Search today. It was pretty interesting. I tried searching for a couple of obscure and hard to get books which took me ages to find when I wanted to buy a copy years ago. One was The sexual politics of meat which convinced me to be a vegetarian for about 7 years. Maybe I should read it again. The other was the weirdest book I ever read, Nothing in this book is true but it's exactly how things are. This has a great meditation at the end of the book which always made me feel fantastic afterwards. With the first book, I notice the text starts at page 12 so it's not complete. With the second book, they tell you some pages have been omitted as well. It's enough to get a fair idea of what the book is about though. I like the 'find this book in a library' link. Since my friends had an intervention with me about excessive book buying about 10 years ago during which I was encouraged to get a job in a library (hey presto!), I have bought very few books. The whole selection of links to places where you can buy the book you are looking at is inevitable I guess, but if I was going to buy the book online, my first choice would probably be Amazon still. Maybe that will change. Book Search is a reasonably good tool, although there are less reviews than on Amazon but maybe that's because it hasn't been around as long. As for reading the book on screen, that's never going to happen - my eyes are already packing up.
On the topic of reading books onscreen, I heard about the new Amazon product Kindle the other day, a hand-held device for reading whole books on screen. I'll be interested to see if this takes off, how much, and what the demographics are on who gets really into it.