Throughout this week, we’re looking at eBooks, from a tech perspective.  Today, I want to show you how you can access eBooks online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, thanks to some services out there.

First of all, I want to give a shoutout to companies that provide online titles to libraries and retailers.  Thanks to them, you can check out eBooks from your local library from the comfort of your own location.  Whether I’m snowbound in Cleveland or on the road for a conference or even on vacation, I can go to my local library’s website and check out eBooks from their site.  I can download the books to my computer and then read them either on my computer or transfer them to a device – like my Sony Reader Pocket Edition – to read.

Another place I get my tech eBooks fix online is through SkillSoft’s Books 24×7 online collection.  You can find more about Books 24×7 on their website.  What I like about the Books 24×7 collection that I have access to is that it is primarly technical titles.  Some of the publishers that I’ve seen in this collection include Wrox Press, Microsoft Press, Apress, IBM Press, Intel Press, John Wiley & Sons, McGraw-Hill, IGI Global, and Paraglyph Press.  I can dive into a variety of topics – from Hardware to Databases, Software Engineering to Programming Languages, Desktop & Office Applications to Enterprise Computing, Security to Business and Culture… these are just a few of the topics they have to offer.  Some of the titles I have in my Books 24×7 folders include Microsoft .NET: Architecting Applications for the Enterprise, Professional Joomla!, Securing Web Services: Practical Usage of Standards and Specifications, and Professional ASP.NET 4 in C# & VB.

A third place I get my tech eBooks fix online is through Safari Books Online.  You can find more about Safari Books Online on their website.  Before I was introduced to the O’Reilly Deal of the Day, I would get my O’Reilly book fix through my Safari Books Online account, as most of the O’Reilly books that I was interested in at that time were part of this collection.  Publishers I’ve seen in this collection include Que, Apress, John Wiley & Sons, Microsoft Press, Adobe Press, Sams, Manning, Cisco Press, Packt Publishing, New Rides, and Peachpit.  Topics are wide as well – from Java, Apple, Python, Web, and Microsoft development topics to Security, Windows Administration to Network Administration, Math & Science to Business… so much to choose from.  

Now while these last two options can be expensive, I get access to them as part of my ACM Professional Membership.  For $99/year, I’m not only an ACM member, but I also get access to professional development tools including access to ACM’s Books 24×7 and Safari Books Online collections. While I have other benefits to being an ACM member, access to these books is probably my most-exercised benefit.

These are just a few places on where to find technical eBooks online.  Got another place I haven’t mentioned?  Leave a comment on this post!

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