Google Books is a pretty cool book-specific search engine (including magazines) which you can use to, as the name suggests, search for info on books. Being Google it’s pretty neat and tidy and easy to use, although (being Google) you still have to use your brain a bit when you sift through the information it gives you – it’s quantity rather than quality with Google, remember!

So what does it give you? Type in the title of a book and you’ll get a page with a synopsis, book cover (just to check you’ve got the right one I guess), a list of online reviews and references from web pages… plus the option to buy online (using Amazon or Fishpond) or check to see if it’s at your local library*.

If you have a Google account you can even create a library of items so you can keep track of what you like and what you’ve read.

This is all extremely useful if you’re doing an extensive book review – it saves you a lot of trawling and cuts to the chase.

* This is done via worldcat. Worldcat is a catalogue of every possible book/CD etc you could imagine which links to libraries around the world – you just have to type “New Zealand” in the location information field and then select “Wellington City Library” and you’ll end up directly in the WCL catalogue page for that particular book. Cool.