Surfing on my break I stumbled upon a Forbes online article about ebrary. The company which lists and impressive number of clients, leads with a tagline of . . books evolved. Its mission as per its website:
ebrary’s mission is to become the global standard for the distribution and effective use of valuable electronic documents.
We currently provide eBook technologies and services to more than 900 customers in 100 different countries, representing 5.5 million end users. ebrary’s partners include more than 220 of the world’s leading publishers.
Just looking over the tools their reader offers suggest that they have move further down the road to Book 1.5/2.0 than most sadly it acts more as a hosting service for other people's content than as a seller in their own right.
* InfoTools™ software turns every word into a contextual link to additional online information.
* Personal Bookshelves automatically save links to highlights, notes, and bookmarks.
* Multiple search options including simple, advanced, full-text, key word, Boolean, and proximity. ebrary also supports federated search.
* Automatic, customizable citations that include a URL hyperlink back to the source.
* Numerous ways to navigate throughout a document:
* Go to each occurrence of a search term.
* Flip through pages, one-by-one.
* Go to specific page numbers.
* Table of contents.
* Copying and printing text with automatic citations.
* Typing notes inside an eBook.
* Highlighting text in multiple colors.
* Durable links that integrate with Blackboard and WebCT.
About the only downside I see is that they download e-books page by page (Something they see as a benefit).
Overall their product seems to be a step above the norm. Which does beg the question as to why they are not better known on the consumer side.