Sunday, January 30, 2011

Netflix for Books? Hardley.

My "summer of reading" that I started about 4 years ago has lived on and I continue to read every I have read a lot of books.  They just stack up in my house and then I give them away to charity.  I'm also have a hard time finding books I want to read.  I buy them all from Amazon and they usually arrive the next day so it's very convenient.  I've been stopping books half way through though and giving up on some lately since I wasn't enjoying them.  If I'm falling asleep after reading two pages, it's not the book for me and I gave up on the Kindle a while ago since I didn't like reading on it

Then I thought, I wonder if there is Netflix for books?  That way I would save money and space in my house as well as not feeling like I've wasted anything if I got a book I didn't like.  So I searched the internet and there were two places that provided this service.

1. has plans starting at $10.99 per month and deals only in paperbacks

2. has plans starting at $23.95 and has paperback and hardbacks

I chose because they were cheaper (I chose the $13.99/month plan to have 2 books at a time) with the downside being that only has paperbacks so I would still need to buy new releases I really wanted, or just wait.  Excitedly, I started putting items in my queue and they were processed for shipment right away. 

Here are my thoughts on the service so far:

1. Selection: Pretty good.  Some of the random stuff I read is not on their list, but they claim a customer can put in a request and they will buy it.  I knew when I signed up that new hardbacks were not available, so I don't hold this against them.  All the books have links to Amazon with descriptions and reviews

2. Shipping speed:  Pretty bad.  I realize the site says it will take 5 to 10 days for books to arrive, but I live only 7 miles away from where the books are shipped from and it took 8 to 10 days for the books to arrive.  I don't know exactly how long because I did not check my mail box during or after the snow storm last week (my mail box is on the street and I didn't want to walk down the long driveway to get to it in the snow).  This is where I think they need improvement to be compared to Netflix.  Netflix accommodates people's desire to get things quickly.  Amazon quotes 2 day shipping, but books usually arrive in 1 day.  I don't like having to wait once I decide I want something.

3. Book condition: Could be better  I received 2 books.  One called French by Heart that is relatively unknown and not many people read it probably.  It is in decent condition, but has that old book odor to it like it's been packed in a box for way too long.  The second book was Twilight which, of course, everyone has heard of and probably read before me.  This book is in horrible condition (see photo above).  This book can be replaced for $6.59 on Amazon.  They should consider replacing highly requested books so that they stay in good condition.  I'm used to reading new books from Amazon so this will be an adjustment.

 I'm not sure if I will remain a customer or not.  I will give it one go around with sending books back and getting more, but this is definitely not a "Netflix for Books".

Where do you get your books from?


Rebecca said...

Why not try the public library?

Patrice said...

I'm too lazy to go to the library. I 'm sure I'd rack up some serious late fees.

Rachelle475 said...

I use our library right by work - I "order" everything online by putting a hold on it and then they send me an email saying it is ready and I go pick it up. Once you've done it a couple of times and realize that it is free - it is so worth it. I do it with movies too. They have a lot of the new releases...