Google Book Search will now allow users to download public domain books - this is especially handy for reading offline. I read about it in Steve Bryant's Google Watch column.
I've put a google book search widget in the left column of this blog. You may need to scroll down a bit. But you should have no problem viewing it. This is especially interesting in light of the fact that the University of California has made agreements with Google to digitize their collection.
Ultimately this is a wonderfully exciting service.
I wish modern publishers we try to find ways to utilize this rather than fear it. In most cases, being able to read an excerpt of find a reference in a book would lead me to buy it if I were interested in the topic.
Have a wonderful day,