However, something that I have started doing is downloading samples from iBooks. Any book that is available on the iBookstore will have a sample of 20-30 pages for free, with the option to download the rest of the book afterwards if you want to. Yesterday I went on a bit of a frenzy and downloaded about 150 samples of books, some of which I already own and others which I want to read eventually. The idea is that since I usually always have my iPad with me, I can get to reading a sample of a book to see if I want to carry on with it enough to dig out the hard copy. Same goes for new books - instead of popping into a bookshop and coming out with another three books that I don't know much about, I can download the sample, read it, and then decide if I want to buy it.
If I'm honest with myself, then it's pretty likely that I'll still end up wandering around bookshops and making impulse buys, but I'm cool with that. It will also hopefully mean that I can settle more easily on what I'm going to read next, because sometimes I spend ages looking at my shelves, thinking about which one to go for, digging it out and then changing my mind. At least this way I can read a few pages and see if it catches.
Here are the samples I've downloaded so far: