As a freelance translator, I'm constantly running into a need to check multiple facts and quotes scattered across multiple books. These books, if available online, are often quite expensive, to the point where buying one book might eat all the profit I'm expecting to get from the client (think $30 book needed to check a single fact for a proper translation of a $30 job).
To give examples, one day I might be working on a translation of a physics textbook and will need to look up a number of other textbooks to recall the correct terminology. The other day, I might be translating a piece of fiction filled with allusions to other works of art, so I'll need to look through numerous works of art to undestand the broad context and the implications of each allusion.
What are my options for accessing these books?
I could bill my client more, explaining that I needed this and this book to check those and those facts during the translation. This uncovers uncomfortably much about my internal processes; I don't want to argue if I needed this $30 book or could do with a $25 one. I also imagine this will not be taken lightly by the client.
I imagine that I'm not the one who has this problem. Are there organizations for freelance translators that would share the costs of book access?
Obviously, there are multiple ways to obtain pirated copies of books, but I want to limit the scope of this question to legal options.