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I cancelled my Safari subscription

After beeing a subscriber to Safari Bookshelf for almost a year, today I cancelled my $15 a month basic subscription. Interestingly, the cancellation page asked me to select reasons for terminating the service from a list of more than twleve plausible reasons. Here is what I selected:

  1. Usage too low to justify subscription. I was hoping to reduce my yearly spending on books from more than $500.00 to around $200.00 by subscribing to this service. My annual apending on books has certainly declined, but not because I was using reading books online but because publishers were sending me free review copies after my success with publishing reviews at Slashdot.
  2. Prefer proper books to electronic versions. I ended up buying a couple of books which were available at Safari for the simple reason that reading complete books on screen turned out to be too difficult for multiple reasons -- (a) easy access to browser made it hard to not do Internet surfing while reading online books; (b) while working on a program, it was easier to reference paper books than electronic books which competed for the screen real estate with code; and (c) at times I wanted to just get away from the computer and spend time with a good book.

So, I don't think I am going to miss Safari. We will see.

Comments (2)

Reason #2 was why I never got a Safari subscription in the first place.

Here are a couple more reasons:

Reason #3 - You can't easily write notes and draw pictures in the margins of a Safari book, unless you print out the whole thing. If you print it out, what's the point? Might as well buy the book.

Reason #4 - Once I buy the book, I don't have to continually renew my subscription to access it --- I own it.

If not for reasons #2 and #3 (and, in your case, reason #1), books in PDF like what Apress offers might not be such a bad idea. If publishers sent out free revisions incorporating corrections, PDF might even be better than hard-copy.

Hugues Ferland:

I never subscribe to Safari because I was not comfortable with the format of the books (pdf). It is not that easy to search in those book, bookmark and add annotation (not possible at all with the reader). And I'm not talking about the display format; a computer screen is not a book, there is no page.

But recently, I found the new ThoutReader(tm) (www.osoft.com). It is just starting to spread and have few books available from editors as O'Reilly, Manning, and others. And I just love what it does... Easy navigating and searching in my library of eBook, easy annotation, easy bookmarks...

Still no tool to draw in the margin, but somebody can certainly contribute some code - ThoutReader is an open source project ;) Of course, it is still not as owning the real paper book. But updates can be available (not for new edition, but certainly for errata) either as a new version of the book or as public notes.

I find that format/technologie very promising!



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