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We have a few hundred developers, and want to legally share eBooks in the same vein we used to share hard copy books (someone buys it and it ends up on the bookshelf).

Has anyone solved this in a novel way? I understand there are subscription options available that license them to you but I want something that is as easy and cheap as our previous method.

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closed as off topic by Jim G., Thomas Owens Aug 2 '12 at 11:38

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just a comment, I think if you don't use readers like Kindle, buying paper books and make a "private" library would be just fine. Currently there's no way to legally share/host ebooks - that's the big problem of our media industry. –  Hoàng Long Aug 2 '12 at 3:05
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are your developers reading books frequently? I think they would love reading paper book/kindle more than on their machine... just a guess –  Hoàng Long Aug 2 '12 at 3:08
    
@HoàngLong: yes, but only if they do not need glasses to read. It's far easier to adjust the zoom level of your reader than to switch between glasses for reading a monitor and a book (reading distance dictating the strength needed). –  Marjan Venema Aug 2 '12 at 6:12

2 Answers 2

I would suggest to look at online library web-sites subscription options like Safari. There should be discount for businesses and organizations that may have good terms.

Here you are some references: Safari books online , Books24x7

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These are the subscription options I've mentioned. They are a few hundred dollars per seat, which is a lot more expensive than sharing when you have this many developers. –  JoeB Aug 2 '12 at 2:56
    
@JoeBehymer actually, with Safari books subscription, you can just buy download tokens, then download the books (in PDF, epub, etc. format) and share them around the office. No need than for more than one seat. –  CamelBlues Aug 2 '12 at 18:19

Sadly, most e-book publishers doesn't provide a cheap solution.

One way to solve this is buying the e-book on an iPad or similar device, and pass it around.

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That sounds pretty expensive, and if I can't read an eBook on my 22' Portrait monitor I'll just get the hard copy. But you're onto the same train of thought, we talked about USB drives containing the files (but you're stuck with the honor system, and that is probably risky). –  JoeB Aug 2 '12 at 1:59
    
Well, if you are looking for a legal way, these honor systems won't work if the publisher strictly disallowed it in the terms and conditions. This is the current state of the e-book business, which is sad really. –  Hakan Deryal Aug 2 '12 at 20:32

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