Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Books for Rent?

Today, I came across This website functions exactly like Netflix or Blockbuster. For anywhere between $10 and $38 a month you can rent unlimited paperbacks or cd/mp3 audiobooks and have them shipped to you for free. You keep the books for as long as you like and return shipping is also free. Additionally, it looks like you'd be able to keep a book if you absolutely loved it. BooksFree boasts some 79,800 titles in paperback and 18,000 audiobook titles. A bookworm's paradise, perhaps?

For me there are some obvious drawbacks:

  • the service isn't actually free as the name suggests - this rankles me and whether this is just a clever marketing ploy or intentionally misleading, I haven't quite decided;
  • you won't have access to newer titles released in hardcover, so you either end up waiting for the paperback release (up to a year depending on the book's popularity), renting the audiobook or just going to the store to get it. this defeats the purpose, unless you don't care ; and
  • most importantly, at least for me, you have no idea where that book has been. Umm...yeah.

Obviously these concerns are minor ones, since this company has been around since 2000 and it just might be the place to find that difficult to locate or out-of-print book. I'm also fairly certain that depending on availability, you can check the books you want to read but not sure you want to own. The savings alone have got to be very attractive to the frugal bookworm.

I've got 45 unread books on my bookshelf, so I have no need this service just yet and as much as I love nothing more than to crack open a brand new book, I may soon have to sign up in order to keep myself out of debtors prison. Now if only I could convince myself that everyone practices proper book borrowing etiquette.


Julie August 22, 2007 at 8:15 PM  

That is interesting. I think I'm with you though. Whilst it might be good for out of print, hard to find books for the authors and series' I read I rather just buy the book.

Plus there is an adreneline rush while buying a book and then cracking it open.

Julie August 30, 2007 at 12:39 PM  

Why not just use a library? It really is free.

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