After writing the previous message on this topic I opened Adobe Reader 7 to
see if there were changes to the Bookshelf function.
There was a moment of panic when I couldn't find it, even in the Help.
In Reader 6 it is File > Bookshelf while in Reader 7 it is File > Digital
Editions > My Digital Editions. Previously Bookshelf focused on your own
PDFs and included eBooks but the new name is obviously meant to encourage
users accessing "digital editions" of online books and managing your own
PDFs gets less attention but still works as before.
There is a link to Adobe Media Store but the plan is for libraries and
retailers to offer books via subscriptions.
For the past few months I have been using the Safari online book service
from ProQuest, Cambridge, Mass through my local public library. From the
library this is a free service undergoing a year's trial as an alternative
to the expensive annual upgrading software support books.
The range of computer books in the trial is limited however the normal
fee-based (monthly) subscription from Safari has thousands of technical
books. My library service operates only through the browser but the fee
service allows a couple of PDF chapter downloads each month and more can be
paid for by a voucher system.
I was interested to find that the Reader 7 Help specifically mentioned
Safari as working via this digital editions function, the PDF being opened
in the Reader from within the browser. I should not have been surprised
because the Safari books include most of the Adobe Classroom in a Book series.
The Safari service can be used free on a trial basis for two weeks. A
friend of mine used it during Microsoft Certification exams to avoid the
cost of books.
Considering that Readers 6 and 7 will read any PDF out loud this can be a
boon to people with visual difficulties.