I imagine most folks in this forum have read Stephenson's The Diamond Age
, which centers around a "smart book" with electronic pages. Late in the story, one of the characters is getting some work done in a café and he pulls several of these "smart papers" out and spreads them across a media-enabled table. Some already have content on them, others he adjusts on the spot to update themselves with content he wants to browse. He makes notes on still others. He uses this method to cross-reference different data and draw comparisons, contrasts, summarize, etc.
One downside of the current generation of eReaders is that you need a whole device with power, wireless link, etc. for each screen you want to look at. On my desk right now I have a laptop hooked up to an extra screen, and I can cut and paste content between them, and even drag windows between them. This is the closest I've been able to come to the scenario described above, which is the way I tend to work when I have paper available.
Someday I'd like to see all the "heavy stuff" centralized into one box you could put on the table or even keep in your pocket (perhaps doubling as a phone), with a wireless (bluetooth?) connection to one or more lightweight, flexible, hopefully inexpensive displays. With this product, I think we may be getting close. Then again, I'd still like those displays to be able to accept written input... that may be a while coming.
Oh, and regarding the storage medium being a bookshelf, the corollary to "I want my display to be larger than my storage medium" is "I want my storage medium to be smaller than my display."