Bookswim, the new book lending service I signed up for, seems to be working very nicely. I received 3 books last week. They would have cost me around $50 at the very minimum. I finished and returned two of them. Now two more are on the way. At $20 per month, the cost savings is really good. And the shipping is free.
I also found the customer service very responsive. They replied back to all my emails and also pointed out an useful book request service. If you don’t find a book in their inventory, you can submit a list of books that you want them to purchase. I submitted a big list of books and they added almost all of them, except a few pricey ones.
There were only 2 problems I faced. One was the slow performance in the initial days as many people hit the site because of the publicity. This situation has become better. The other problem which still exists is the search, which returns many unrelated results without proper ordering. Fortunately, the search allows ISBN searches, so it is only a minor hassle.
I definitely recommend signing up for this service if you like reading books (fiction or non-fiction, but especially the latter). And here is a list of some lists of books that other people recommend:
- Personal MBA: http://personalmba.com/recommended-business-books/
- Coding Horror: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000020.html
- Joel on Software: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/navLinks/fog0000000262.html
- Steve McConnell: http://www.stevemcconnell.com/rl-cc.htm
- Gray’s Matter: http://graysmatter.codivation.com/HowIAmBecomingABetterDeveloperPart1OfInfinity.aspx
Also check your local library for some of these books, especially the business management ones. And that costs no money.