The LA Times reported a new word data base that Google has come up with called Book Ngram Viewer.
Basically, you can type in words and see how the trends of when they appeared in books. You can look at words that were popular during different time periods or how the choice of what word to use changed throughout the centuries.
Google draws the information from a database of more than 5.2 million books, so you get a pretty accurate response. You can click on the graphs and see the specific books that the words were used in.
I'm not quite sure why this would be useful to me, but I did waste a lot of time looking at when the word "canary" was popular and how it was used. I took a few other words from my book too. There's nothing like finding new ways to procrastinate from revisions!
Give it a shot and let me know what words you searched for to waste time on this web page!