The purpose behind the venture was to take the best IT books from the best authors and publishers. Put them into an online, searchable database. Offer it to IT professionals as a means of addressing their never-ending need to quickly pinpoint reliable code examples and technical information.
Since then, the project has exceeded all expectations by selling site licenses to Fortune 50 companies, major universities and leading training organizations worldwide.
This doesn’t mean that it is out of the realm of the average computer user. In fact, it is the perfect resource for users who only have the occasional need to reference a computer book.
Unlike a traditional online bookstore, Safari lets subscribers:
- Conduct searches across all of the technical books in the Safari library – more than 1,000 in all. Zero in on answers to time critical questions in a matter of seconds.
- Read the books on your Bookshelf from cover to cover. Or, simply flip to the page you need.
- Browse books by category. With Safari researching any topic is a snap. From XML, to databases to Mac OS X, you’ll find your answer in Safari.
O’Reilly Network Safari Bookshelf – for when you’ve absolutely gotta-have-it now!
Using O’Reilly Network Safari Bookshelf
Using Safari Books is extremely simple.
- Go to the Safari Books home page – http://safari.oreilly.com
- Type in your search topic. Java Beans, for example.
- Get a list of all of the Java Beans references in the Safari service.
- Results are ranked from most relevant to least relevant.
- Peruse the full text of relevant titles, chapters and sections.
- Bookmark, annotate and copy & paste code directly.
The Search Results shows the books that contain the search string and includes a thumbnail of the cover, the title and how many Slots it will fill if you add it to your bookcase. It then lists the relevant chapters, the publisher and the date added to the collection. The final column indicates if the book is already on your bookshelf or if not allows you to add it.
Initially, I had my reservations about how useful I’d find this service, but I now find I’m using O’Reilly Network Safari Bookshelf as my IT primary reference resource.
One of the PR blurbs about O’Reilly Network Safari Bookshelf says “You’ll find answers much more quickly than wading through piles of books and articles and far more effectively than message boards or tracking down colleagues for answers” and I have found this to be quite true.
I am using the search facility to research a variety of topics that if I was to purchase the physical books, I would be spending hundreds of dollars and probably would never use them again after the research concluded, so a subscription to Safari Books Online is very cost effective.
If I do decide I want to purchase a physical copy of the book, then there is a easy to use online ordering system.
The ability to copy code examples directly from the web page into an email or text editor is fantastic as the likelihood of an error creeping in virtually disappears.
You don’t have to be a subscriber to O’Reilly Network Safari Bookshelf to conduct searches, nor to view books, however, the books will only display a preview of the page and include a banner advising your are in a preview mode.
Subscribers have full access to the entire contents of the book.
Subscribers need to add a book to their bookcase in order to read the entire contents of the book and this process is very easy; just click on Add and confirm you want to add it to your bookcase.
As mentioned earlier, you only have a limited number of slots on your bookcase, so if you have filled the current slots, you have two options; either upgrade to more slots, or like a book library, exchange one title for another, but you must keep a book on your bookshelf for 30 days before changing it over.
I now find I’m using O’Reilly Network Safari Bookshelf as my IT primary reference resource
To sign up for a free 14-day trial, visit .
Once you have signed up, you are allocated to a 10-slot bookshelf at no charge for 14-days. Most Safari books occupy a single slot on your bookshelf. In most cases, a 10-slot bookshelf equates to a 10-book bookshelf. While you can search the entire Safari bookshelf, you will only be able to view the full-text content of the books you choose to put in your bookshelf.
If you elect to retain your bookcase after the trail period, you will be billed $US14.95 per month for ten slots on your bookcase. There are other subscriptions as well, including 5, 20 and 30 slot bookcases. Discounts also apply if you pay annually rather than monthly.
There is an introductory program just for user group members that enables individuals and User Groups to win prizes from O’Reilly including T-shirts, book bags and other surprises.
To enter, you need to be a member of a User Group registered with O’Reilly and sign up for the Safari 14-day free trial. Be sure to enter the name of your User Group into the Company field when subscribing. Then, if you send comments on your experiences, or tips and tricks for how you used Safari (it only needs to be 2 sentences long, but it may be longer) to email@example.com, you will be entered into a weekly draw to win prizes. What ever you get, your User Group will get one, too, to give away at your next meeting, or use however they see fit. Recipients–and their comments–will be announced in the O’Reilly User Group Newsletter.
free trial »
A copy of this article, with colour images, is available from my website, https://www.nicholaspyers.com.
Interested in reprinting this article? Any non-profit Apple Macintosh User Group (MUG) may re-print, free of charge, any of the articles written by Nicholas Pyers found at https://www.nicholaspyers.com/articles. There are just a couple of conditions, which basically boil down to letting us know – for the full terms and conditions, please visit https://www.nicholaspyers.com/reprints.