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I’ve written before about how the Internet is a cook’s dream; thousands of recipes just a few keystrokes away.
But now I’ve found a way to use the Internet to get cookbooks (and other books, for that matter) for FREE.
It’s actually really simple.
Scribd.com is a website where you can download any number of books and publications.
You can also upload your works and discuss with the site’s community about your favorite books, authors, or whatever else is on your mind.
Recently, Random House, Simon & Schuster and several other publishers joined in partnership with Scribd to release selections from their catalogs — including best-sellers — as free ebooks.
Why would they give them away for free when they’re trying to sell them at online and at brick-and-mortar stores at the same time?
When we’ve done these free books, we’ve seen a significant amount of people microblogging about that promotion and saying how much they enjoy the books, and basically that gets the author’s name and book title out there among many different people. — Matt Schwartz, director of digital strategy for Random House Publishing Group
The site is very well done. After signing up for my free account, I browsed for cookbooks and found a page with a slew of them.
Many of the titles are small publications from Scribd community members, but as I scrolled down I found cookbooks by Jamie Oliver, Wei Chuan, and other popular chefs.
The site uses an iPaper program to let you view the book. It’s similar to the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon.com, except that you get to see the entire book on Scribd. Then, you can use the tabs at the top of the reader to share the title, add it to your favorites, vote on it, embed it in your website, and download the book. It took me just a few seconds to download a PDF version an entire book. (I could also have chosen to download it in text form.)
If you enjoy looking for recipes online, then you really should try browsing Scribd for cookbooks. After all, there are some good ones there, and once you download them you have them to use and enjoy offline, too.
I’ve been in the food industry for years. Grilling and tailgating are my specialties. I’m also addicted to watching food shows on TV.