It would be hard to have missed this news, but Amazon.com now provides search functionality within a big chunk of their stock. For example, if I want to find out if I am mentioned in a book, all I have to do is search for my name. Likewise, if you want to get at a list of books that may not be about a topic, but may nonetheless have links (say social informatics), you have a great new window on this. It’s also fun to play the Google trick of looking for misspellings like mruder, privelege, accessable, or liason.
But spellchecking aside, it is easy to underestimate the power of this tool. Many profs already recommend Amazon as a way of finding material, literature, and sources. I do not, but I will be sure to mention this as an interesting alternative to a google search.