Wednesday, July 7, 2010

News Flash: Is Book Swim the Netflix of Books?

Before I dive into the primary topic of this post, I'd like to say that I made an error yesterday. I'm on page 300 of Julie Orringer's The Invisible Bridge, not page 200. The 92-degree heat and the glass of merlot I was drinking yesterday must have addled my brain.

Book Swim! Have you heard about this new subscription program that allows its members to rent books, including bestsellers and top current titles, for a fixed monthly fee?

First of all, I must say that like many of my friends living here in wildermania, Ken and I love Netflix. Love may be too mild a word for the rapture we experience. We treasure it so much that we carry the most expensive subscription--something like $18+/month.

So the idea of Book Swim tantalizes. Just think: Instead of the online haggling with our regional library system to wait in line for new books, I could get three recently published books at a time for a monthly fee of $23.95. No due dates. Keep them as long as you want, though of course you will continue to pay the monthly fee.

But wait a minute. Three books. Would that work out to be three books per month? Or, if I were a fast reader, could it work out to six books per month? I don't know. Book Swim has a number of other subscription levels. Five books at a time. Seven books at a time. And so on.

Please visit the website and give your opinion about what you think about the Book Swim program. I think it would be ideal for someone with a big job, a big income, and a minimum of time to go roaming from library to bookstore to get their books.

One complication I envision is that lots of the books I want to read are not available through Book Swim. Back titles, obscure books--it couldn't possibly supply all my reading needs.

It's too bad there's not a free trial available. I imagine the company might go broke if they tried it, especially because they're just getting started. But doesn't the minimum subscription of $23.95sound like a great deal of money? That's nearly $300/year, which I consider a huge investment in books that you rent and never own.

Please weigh in with your comments.


  1. I could not image paying to rent a book when there are so many libraries I could use free.

  2. It seems a bit expensive to me too. Also I think I'm probably a wee bit weird, but I quite like having to wait for books (things), even although I'm generally very impatient.
    I think it makes me more appreciative when I do get them.

  3. Hi! I found your blog through the Hop and I'm a new follower so I'll be back soon.
    Have a great weekend,
    Carly x

  4. I checked out the Book Swim website a while back just to see what it was about. Personally, my library is really great so I can't imagine paying that much for a service I already get for free. But I can see it being great for people in remote locations or for those with tiny libraries.