November 10, 2010
Did you know there is a service out there that is similar to Netflix in concept but that rents out booksIts called BookSwim, and just like Netflix it offers a membership to rent books to read and return as you please.Ive been trying the service out in order to review it for NY Spender, and coming home to a package containing books I cant wait to read is a great feeling. :)How does it work:1. You create an account with BookSwim2. You browse their books selection3. You start creating a queue of books that you would like to read4. Based on the plan you chose, theyll start sending you books5. You get the books in the mail6. You read them7. You return them in the prepaid envelope8. They send you more booksThere are no late fees, no shipping fees and no due dates.Whats not to like?BookSwim is a great service for avid readers. I know people that can read two books per week (I would love to be able to do that!), and the cost of buying eight new books per month can be very expensive: these people would benefit from the Avid Reader membership. On the other hand, some people dont have the time to read all that much, but still enjoy reading a good book before bed every night: this is where the Light Reader plan would work better.I personally think that BookSwim is great to read books that you might not want to buy for whatever reason. For example, I like to read PostSecret online, and Ive always been curious about the PostSecret books, except that I dont really want to buy all those books to keep in my library, so BookSwim works perfectly for this: Ill rent the book, read it, satisfy my curiosity and then return it. How is BookSwim better than the library? Well, its different. Not everybody has a library close by, and with BookSwim you get to order books from the comfort of your home. How is BookSwim different from a book store?Its very different. You dont pay full price for each book you want to read, and by returning the books you wont have to deal with the extra clutter that comes with having lots of books.And if you find that you loved one of the books you rented, you have the option of keeping it by buying it off BookSwim, for less than what it would cost at the book store.The only negative I can find (if I really want to find one) doesnt even apply to everybody, and its more of a pet peeve of mine: some people prefer new books over used books, so these could be the only people that might not get the full enjoyment out of a BookSwim membership.But for everyone else, BookSwim makes for a great gift, and there is a holiday special running: any $50 gift certificate to BookSwim comes with a $50 certificate to Restaurant.com.Go check it out (new members can try the first month for free)!.
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