I initially thought that Amazon’s “Search Inside the Book” was going to be full-text searchable. Well, not exactly. You can search for words but the results are displayed as images of the page the text is on. This is mainly for copyright reasons and I guess it makes sense. If they were making a research tool actual text would be good but they’re not really doing that.
I think what Amazon is trying to do is recreate the library browsing experience where you search for a subject in the library catalog and then head to the stacks to flip through books and see if they’re what you really want. This makes finding random interesting books on Amazon a lot more likely. I think it will definately make me buy more books from Amazon, like I don’t buy enough already.
Wired has more on this new feature of Amazon.