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O'Reilly has a really neat web-based service that lets you read from over 1,000
technical books from O'Reilly, Sun Microsystems, Addison-Wesley, Prentice-Hall
PTR, AdobePress, SAMS, Microsoft Press, and others.
When you sign up, you get a "bookshelf." A bookshelf will allow you to put a
certain number of books on it. The $9.99 allows you five spots on your
bookshelf. 10 spots runs $14.99, and it goes up from there. Some books take
more than one spot, they say, but I have yet to come across one. All of them
I've looked at take only a single spot. Some of them, like O'Reilly's "pocket
references" only take up a half-spot.
You add books to your bookshelf, and then can read them online. Of course, this
requires that you be online to read them, but for the savings, it sure seems
worth it to me. They have a search feature that will show you which books they
have that cover the subject (you can even restrict the search to code
samples!). For example, I wanted to read up on Jakarta Struts before the recent
books were released that deal specifically with that subject. When I did a
search, I found several books that made passing reference to them, and one that
had a whole chapter on the subject.
You can change the books that you have on your bookshelf after either 30 or 60
days (I don't recall which). So this means that you can read a book until
you've gotten all that you want out of it, and then swap its spot on the
bookshelf once the minimum time has passed.
They have other neat features, including virtual bookmarks (though, I wish that
they would let you add a note to each bookmark, so you'd remember why you added
Here is a list of the main categories that they offer:
I have really enjoyed the few months that I have subscribed. Currently on my
bookshelf? Ant: The Definitive Guide, Creating Effective JavaHelp, JavaServer
Pages, 2nd Edition, Premiere 6 for Macintosh and Windows: Visual QuickStart
Guide, and Programming Jakarta Struts.
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