I won't feel comfortable paying for a book that I can only read online unless it's at a significantly discounted rate. If Google Editions winds up being the Lala of ebooks, that would be fine (I mean, without being bought out and shut down). At least with Lala you could pay $.10 to listen to a song an unlimited number of times online or you could pay the standard $.99 to download the MP3. Unfortunately, I'm guessing prices aren't going to be cheaper with Google Editions and there will be no option to download as an ePub or Mobi file. It'll be interesting if Google finds a way to make this work with eink devices. It might be easier with devices like the nook for which custom apps can be developed (and since Google owns the platform, that should be pretty easy for them). Things will probably be different with the Kindle. Amazon doesn't like the idea of this kind of competition. After all, they're primarily an e-book store. I think it'll probably be worth it as soon as someone figures out how to rip Google Books from the web into e-book files. Then I might start investing Google Editions.
"I do not speak with any fondness, but the language of coldest history, when I say that Boston commands attention as the town which was appointed in the destiny of nations to lead the civilization of North America."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson