Did you know you could rent books? I'm not talking about going to your local library and checking books out. I mean actually renting books the way you'd rent videos. For a monthly fee, people can rent books from Paperspine and have them delivered to their homes. Think NetFlix for books. Paperspine works in just the same manner: you sign up for membership, make your picks and set up a queue, receive your picks in the mail, then send the books back in pre-paid return envelopes when you're done.
It's certainly a neat idea, now that I think about it, and they've got a decent selection in a variety of categories. While I'll always prefer the materialistic pleasure of owning my books, this strikes me as a convenient way of sampling new authors. After all, our local libraries carry limited fiction titles and trolling used-book stores isn't always much cheaper than buying new. And even if you do buy used books, if it's a crappy pick you're still stuck with the crappy book taking up shelf space and mocking you until you can get around to pawning it on someone else. Plus the delivery aspect -- delivery is bliss. Something to think about.