I just saw a poster in my city library that Total BooX offers library patrons free download of books, including cookbooks. Digging into their catalog a bit more I see some useful books.
Mangoes & Curry Leaves
Hot Sour Salty Sweet
Beyond the Great Wall
and a number of others
Indian Cooking Unfolded
Here’s a partial list of participating public libraries, and they cover a very large majority of SF Bay Area, (plus Westchester NY @ieatalotoficecream @biondanonima @winecountrygirl ). I believe any Bay Area residents can apply for a library card to any Bay Area public library, including those in cities you don’t live in.
Peninsula/ South Bay
Full list is here:
Note that they also carry other type of books, including for example, the Lonely Planet catalog.
From their website: ‘Download as many ebooks as you want from our catalog of 50,000 ebooks, and start reading immediately, with no holds, no expirations, no limitations, no fines. Reading is free, courtesy of your library.’
How are pages priced?
Pages cost a percentage of the retail (not library) price of each book. For instance, if a book were 300 pages long, and a patron read 30 pages, then the library would pay only ten percent of the price of the book. If the patron adjusted the font size, our system would take that into account so that the library would still pay the same amount. Note that we do not charge for portions of books which patrons skip over or flip through quickly, so you pay little or nothing when patrons browse titles.
How does Total BooX charge my library?
Total BooX keeps tabs when your patrons read and deducts from your library’s balance only the value of the pages read, as they are read. So there is no need for the library to buy ebooks upfront. Portions of the titles your patrons skip over or the pages they flip through quickly are never deducted from the balance. When your balance is low, we alert you to increase it. It is up to the library to decide how and when to increase the budget. If the library has unused reading funds at the end of the year, they are carried over into the following year.
How does Total BooX help me control my library’s budget?
One of the key benefits of using Total BooX is the ability to control the amount spent on ebook reading. Upon signing, your library sets an annual budget and is able to keep track of the remaining balance, the number of patrons registered, and the number of ebooks downloaded. You also get insight into what your patrons read the most and how they read. Reports will soon be generated in real time to help librarians make informed purchasing decisions and to control cost long-term.
Note, if you actually read an entire book, your library is charged for the retail price of book, which seems a little steep since a book paid at library price can have multiple reads over its lifetime.