It's 2am. I'm looking for something to read. None of my books are what I'm after.
"I know," I think, "I want a murder mystery / political thriller set in Vladivostok in the run-up to the Russo-Japanese war. Preferably with a bit of romance and some naval action. Does such a book exist, or am I going to have to write it myself?"
Five seconds later, and Google has the answer. It exists, and it's called The Floating Madhouse by Alexander Fullerton. Half a minute later, and I've gone to the Cambridge Library Web site, and reserved it from the library 50 yards from my house, for the princely sum of, erm, nothing at all.
I picked it up seven hours later on my way to work this morning.
OK, it's only a tiny example of what the Net can do, but it's things like that which show me how much my world has been transformed. The book I imagined, almost instantaneously, effortlessly, and free.