I’ve recently gained access to a Safari Books Online subscription through work, and am really enjoying the service. http://my.safaribooksonline.com/
There’s two subscription models:
- Full access
- You have access to every book available in the library, which is tens of thousands
- 10-slot bookshelf
- You have preview access to every book, with the ability to fill up a 10-slot bookshelf for full content. Once a book is placed on the bookshelf, it must remain there for at least a month.
It’s the 10-slot bookshelf that I have been using.
Working out pricing, depending on how fast you read books it’s really not any cheaper than just purchasing the paper copies of the books you want from Amazon, at least in the first year.
However, taking into account new revisions and releases due to new technology (ASP 3.5, 4.0 etc) you’d quickly fill up a physical bookshelf with out-dated information. With this service you can move forward on professional development, satisfy curiosity in certain subjects, or simply use it for reference material.
Plus, other features such as video walkthroughs, commentary, and mobile access are useful too.
I especially appreciate the mobile access, since I car-pool and have about 40 minutes per day to read uninterrupted.
Overall I’d recommend it as long as you plan on reading and utilizing many books through the service. If you’re only making your way through a couple books a year, it’s really going to be overkill.
If anyone reading this has any book recommendations, please leave a comment!