The language support is interesting, but that's not best part. Back when the new Kindles were unveiled, one of the much hyped features for the Kobo Touch was new support for getting background info from Shelfari. Depending on the title, you could find anywhere from a couple brief entries on a book to a whole annotated bibliography with a book summary, character bios, plot description, and more.
Given that this is going to be on the new Kindle Touch, I thought everyone would want to try it themselves. The academic value should be obvious, but I also love the feature because I am in information junky. I like to wander through Wikipedia at random, and simply jump from article to related article.
As you can see from the screen shots, you can find the Shelfari search under the more option (along with Google, Wikipedia, and dictionary). Curiously enough, it does not appear to need an active internet connection. I had heard that Kindle ebooks were supposed to have a new sidecar file with this info; it looks like that was correct.
Speaking of the sidecar files, I can now see a couple new ones: PHL and APNX. I've been told that the APNX is used for the real page numbers, so the PHL likely holds the Shelfari info.
Amazon bought Shelfari in 2008, and I wonder if this is why they did it. The Kindle now offers metadata on ebooks which cannot be found on any other platform and that gives Amazon a subtle but decided advantage over the competition.
Do you recall how Kobo keep adding more social reading features? Well, Amazon add more straight reading features and I find that so much more appealing. I'm sure lots of other readers will agree.