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Bookswim = Netflix For Books

Last week I discovered Swaptree, a community that allows you to trade books, music, DVDs and video games. This week, I'm obsessed with Bookswim, which is a book specific borrowing program that can best be described as a Netflix for books.

The company features plans for about $20 (there are no late fees) or a 5-At-A-Time Plan for $23.99 (they claim that's their most popular plan but honestly, who has time to read 5 books a month?!). They have a selection of more than 150,000 books including new releases, bestsellers and classics and an easy queue to showcase and store upcoming titles. Just like Netflix, you get free shipping both ways and you can opt to purchase titles you love at a discount.

While the selection is smaller than other web stores like Amazon, the idea that you can rent and share books is really exciting and certainly cost effective. The site is new and has received a great deal of attention in the last few weeks, so you may experience technical difficulties on the site from time to time.

Join The Conversation
cheriestar cheriestar 8 years
I use Bookswim and love it! Saying that, I must say it's not a program for everyone. It's more a program for people who spend a lot of money on book's a lot of the time. For example at times I would spend 70$ a month a a book store. And yes, i do use the library but it doesn't always have the books I want. Bookswim is good for that. And being a fast and avid reader, the program is worth it for me. My only complaint is it takes awhile sometimes for books to come in, or for them to get the books you sent back. However, I'm crediting this to the fact that this program is somewhat new, and this problem will be better in time.
Ultress Ultress 9 years
this seems like a good niche idea--obviously not as universal as netflix. it's great for city folks like me because i don't have room to store all the books i've read. i try selling them on but that's sort of a pain. i still have to store the books until they sell and then have to get to the post office asap when a book sells. (and living in the city, have to have something to read on the subway, train, bus, waiting the 30 minutes on the sweltering platform that a train that may or may not ever show up). definitely not for everyone, but an interesting idea.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
yes, the library IS broken - the vancouver public library has been closed because of a strike since late July! I'm not there this year, but yeah - that long with no library?!?! i'd go crazy! the libraries here don't get new books very often and charge $1 per book to request things and then you only keep the books for 2 weeks with 1 renewal, which isn't always long enough!
millarci millarci 9 years
I think this is an excellent idea for the ulitmate bookworm (which means getting your $20 worth). I have a horrible library. There are absolutely NO new books. All of them are the old classics which is fine. If I want to read the current bestsellers, I will have to buy it myself. If I don't like it, I'm stuck with it. GeekSugar is right. Not everyone has a great library and this is perfect for those of us who don't.
rubiesymusica rubiesymusica 9 years
reminds me to sign up again at my library. sounds like a good idea for those who do not live close to a library or one that has a large selection. i could never read 5 in a month. maybe 2.
mellafe mellafe 9 years
Why can't things like this exist in other countries?!? My library is terrible, and I love to read. I just get books online, reading off the computer.
warau warau 9 years
go to the library.
hiedi hiedi 9 years
lol Mabess! I live in Springfield, Missouri, not exactly a booming metropolis! And our library has VERY accommodating hours. They're open from 7:30 am, till 9 pm.
dali137 dali137 9 years
I thought this up about a year ago... I read like at least an adult size novel a week and then read childrens books before bed... I LOVE the library, it's free... um that's it about it though. Librarians are nosy, talkative and not always helpful. I usually go in check out my months worth of books or all teh ones on my list and if I can't get to them in time at least I don't have to dedicate another hour to the old guy librarian that likes to chat about everything under the sun. Chicago time for me is limited I would love to come home and find my new books at my door. ALSO... FYI, buying great books is good way to have them to re-read... it is also a huge environmental issues for the people that buy and toss or trash the book while reading. Also, I buy maybe 1 in 10 of the books I want to read and I am still hauling 15 boxes of books whenever I move, which lately has been a lot. What happens when I want to move to the other side of the country or to Japan? Do I just give all my books away? I think this is a great idea although it seems a bit pricey at first glance. The fact that if you LOVE the book you can just let them know and keep it is interesting too. All in all... I am waiting for E-ink flexible readers but this is a nice option for girls on the run.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 9 years
Love it! And Geek...start commuting on the bus/metro trains! you will easily read 5 books a month...I read about 2 a week! I would def try to make it to the library though first. I haven't yet haha, as i am working during library hours, but, my mom keeps me supplied. her and 1 of her friends meet once a month and trade books...BAGS of books. And her friend meets someone else and trades, etc. so they have a big ring of people who trade books...they write their initials on the inside, and eventually get their books back! It's a great way to discover new authors, genres, etc. Oh, and for those of you who CAN part with yor books...If you donate them to the library...make sure you write down the title and cover price for each book...they are tax deductible at COVER price! Meaning, if you went to t abooksale and got your book 75% off, if you donate it you can still deduct cover price. Awesome huh? And you are helping out your library!
designmilk designmilk 9 years
This is the best idea ever!
steen steen 9 years
I'm too much of a bibliophile for this but I think it's a GREAT alternative to libraries. For me, the nearest library has next to nothing in it and the main library is downtown, which is not only a drain on time, gas, and toll money but parking is crazy and it's like a maze!
amanaceer amanaceer 9 years
c0rkie c0rkie 9 years
go to borders. u can read at the store :)
mabess mabess 9 years
ok hiedi, where do you live? there certainly isn't a drive through window at my little south carolina library. maybe in my dreams.
mabess mabess 9 years
i'll admit my first thought was, "um. . . isn't this called a library?" but i love netflix and i love to read. so i'll check it out. and honestly, (though this may be a reflection on my poor work ethic), i read like 5 books a week. so I think I could get my money's worth. and waiting for old ladies to finish the new books at the library can really suck.
hiedi hiedi 9 years
I'm not sure how everyone else's library works, but mine kicks butt! I can browse the entire library catalog online, put a hold on whatever books, movies, cd's I want, and then I get a phone call when they are ready, or I can just check my account online and it will tell me when they are ready. And they transfer from all the area locations, so I'm not limited to only what's in my branch. The best part, they have a drive-thru window! So i can go through on the way to the store, or after work, or whatever, as they are open till 9 pm. I still go in the library once or twice a month, for the kids' sake! They have a great children's area, with a train to play in, computer games, and books galore. I love my library! And it might pay to check out what your local library is like now, they are not your middle school library anymore!
maddiemay maddiemay 9 years
Okay so I checked it out... it's not user friendly and not the greatest selection.. so thumbs down!
Swp2885 Swp2885 9 years
i think it's an interesting idea, but i can't help but feel like i'd be cheating on my library- library's can be such a great part of a community and i love mine- even if i do have to wait a couple weeks for a certain book
maddiemay maddiemay 9 years
I love this idea and had discussed how genius it would be to do a Netflicks for books... guess I should've acted on it! :-) I love this idea as I do read a lot and will never re-read a book and typically spend a lot of money on hardbacks as I've already read the paperback books that look good!
beram1220 beram1220 9 years
You can buy used books on amazon for $5 (including shipping) and just keep the book. Like they said, who is going to read more than 5 books a month? AND you get to keep them :)
shini shini 9 years
good point geeksugar! and not all libraries have the latest books...although $20 might seem a little high, i mean how many books can we read per month?
geniusNOTatWORK geniusNOTatWORK 9 years
i personally think this is a great idea! If you're a person who doesn't have time to browse the library or go to the bookstore, this is really helpful.
megnmac megnmac 9 years
I guess it appealed to me at first, I think I read about it in O Magazine... but then ppl reminded me of the library. And unlike my Netflix, which saves me all those late fees and rental charges in return for one monthly fee... this is paying for something i could hypothetically get for free. I like it in the part that is too lazy to go to the library, but ultimately I don't think it is worth the money...
LuciLu LuciLu 9 years
excellent idea!
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