I may be the last person to hear about this, but a post this morning on Galley Cat caught my eye. There’s a company out there called BookSwim that’s marketing itself as the Netflix of books. For a monthly fee, you can have books (including brand-new hardbacks and textbooks) shipped to your door.
As a devoted library-goer, the site initially left a bad taste in my mouth because of the “Why not just go the library?” section (Answer: late fees, limited hours, limited selections, long waiting lists for popular titles, location). Hmm. I don’t know about that. Even if there is a long wait for new titles, my favorite part of going to the library is browsing the shelves and finding a surprise.
The site also seems to be keeping a close guard on the price of plans. Instead, we get details such as: “Whether you've got our 3 or 5-books-a-month plan, you've got your nose in a book, the wind at your back and the sun upon your face.” After a little digging, I found out that the cheapest plan (1 book at a time) costs $9.95 a month + $3.99 shipping and handling. 3 books at a time is $23.95 (free shipping) and 11 books at a time (“devout reader”) is $59.95.
Seems a bit steep to me, although I won’t knock the company until I hear feedback from someone who’s used their services. With so much new fiction out there this fall, I wouldn’t mind getting a few hardbacks at a discounted price.
Anyone out there tried BookSwim? Is BookSwim going to do for bookstores what Netflix did for Blockbuster?