Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 at 10:50pm by Danny, BZPower Reporter
You may wonder what this headline has to do with LEGO. We'll explain below the fold. In short, you can currently (for the next 30-some-odd hours) get a $399 annual subscription covering books and more for $199. This includes dozen of explicitly LEGO-related titles, hundreds of books that touch on LEGO, and thousands of books for further exploring related topics, such as robotics, programming, design, and 3D-printing. There are also "serious" learning offerings (like instructional videos, online training, interactive tutorials, and more great books) in there too, in case you wanted to show enough educational or professional value to justify getting your parents/boss/spouse/Toa/etc to buy the subscription for you.
Back in June, O'Reilly publishing announced and then explained that they would no longer sell books, e-books, or videos directly on their website. You probably didn't notice, since you likely don't buy books directly from a publisher on a regular basis: you already have bookstores, specialty stores, general stores, Amazon, LEGO events, Humble Bundles, etc, selling you whatever technical and/or LEGO-related materials you're interested in. Also, we didn't think to cover it at the time, since this wasn't (strictly speaking) LEGO news. We have a hard enough time keeping up with new books when they come out, and we focus more on Bionicle than Mindstorms here anyway.
The Safari platform actually covers more material than you might expect. In addition to the Mindstorms-related O'Reilly titles you may know about, there are also a variety of titles from Apress, No Starch Press, Syngress, and other publishers included. This means that you can get access to 36 e-books entirely about LEGO, including The Unofficial LEGO Builder's Guide, The Unofficial LEGO Technic Builder's Guide, Practical LEGO Technics: Bring Your LEGO Creations to Life, The Ultimate Player’s Guide to Lego Dimensions, Building a Better Business Using the Lego Serious Play Method, and Jon Lazar's Arduino and LEGO Projects (which you may have heard about from him at BrickFair Virginia) - in addition to the expected bevy of titles about "STEM" and robotics. Surprisingly, O'Reilly's own offerings from the RCX era are not included, but the NXT and EV3 eras are very well-represented.
The selection also includes many books (and a few magazines) from the Maker Media catalog, including Make magazine's "Best Toys for Makers" issue (spoiler: LEGO is on the cover), Minecraft for Makers, their take on LEGO and Arduino Projects, and their beginners' guides to 3D printing, Arduino, and Raspberry Pi.
All of those explicitly LEGO-related books and beginner-friendly Make titles are just scratching the surface, though. A search for "LEGO" without the "title" filter reveals 1,973 results. I don't have time to sum up all the highlights of that, but Nathan Sawaya's The Art of the Brick and an anniversary edition of The Cluetrain Manifesto featuring commentary from Jake McKee caught my eye.
That's before we get into the many non-LEGO-related books that are still applicable to the LEGO hobby. There's no way to count how many of those are in here. I believe any technology can interface with LEGO now. It's been over 15 years since TCP/IP first ran on an RCX, and the EV3 boots Arch Linux out-of-the-box...
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