One of my long-term favorite services that I’ve subscribed to as a paying member on-again, off-again is Safari Books Online. Safari offers access to a vast library of hundreds of IT related books for online reading.
If you work in the IT realm, its well worth the subscription cost – especially if you can get your employer to foot the bill for you. IT books are such a niche volume and oftentimes so massive in size that they frequently run $50-$100 for a single volume. Safari offers a relatively inexpensive alternative – while also preventing the proliferation of the dreaded stacks of outdated IT books that seem to crop up around us as technology changes at a blistering pace.
The price used to be $10/mo. for their basic subscription – but that was years ago and it is now a much steeper $23/mo. – but still well worth the price.
Oftentimes when we find online subscription services the best and the brightest are not among the selection – this is not the case with Safari. You’ll find numerous volumes from a variety of the best technical publishers including O’Reilly Media, Microsoft Press, Sams, Apress, Cisco Press, Packt Publishing, Que, and McGraw-Hill.
Perhaps a little insiders peek at what I’ve been reading (or at least perusing) over the last year or two on Safari will help provide some idea of the range and depth of the collection:
- Martin WP Reid’s Pro Access 2007.
- Ross Mistry and co.’s Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Management and Administration.
- Michele E. Davis and Jon A. Phillips’ Learning PHP and MySQL 2nd Edition.
- Luke Welling and Laura Thomson’s PHP and MySQL Web Development.
- Andrew and Paul Hudson’s Ubuntu Unleashed 2008 Edition.
- Karen S. Fredricks’ SugarCRM for Dummies.
- John Paul Mueller LINQ for Dummies.
- Dino Esposito’s Programming Microsoft ASP.NET 3.5.
- Scott Driza’s Word 2007 Document Automation with VBA and VSTO.
- Kirk Haselden’s Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services Unleashed.
- Larry Tenny and Zeeshan Hirani’s Entity Framework 4.0 Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach.
- Alex Mackey’s Introducing .NET 4.0: with Visual Studio 2010.
- Michael Lisin and co.’s Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services Unleashed.
- Brian Larson’s Microsoft SQL Server 2008: Reporting Services.
- Laurent Bugnion’s Silverlight 4 Unleashed.
- Michael W. Picher’s Building Enterprise-Ready Telephony Systems with sipXecs 4.0.
Along with extensive collections of books on development (web, java, .net, php), database (mssql, mysql, oracle), server/workstation administration (windows/linux), and network administration there are titles on digital media, engineering, math and science, personal and professional development, and so on.
Did I mention you get discounts on books (significant ones) if you purchase them while having a subscription? Sweet.
No, I’m not getting paid by Safari for this post. 😛