Growing up, when I heard anything about readers or reading at all, it was often in the context of a nebulous "book of the month" club. I heard it on TV, mostly, since I was something of a couch potato, but somewhere out there was this iconic thing from whence people received books...in the mail! That, too, was a cool idea to my innocent, young self.
Now I'm 30 years older and the book mail is a lot more common for me, but the idea of a Book of the Month is still pretty exciting. Disclaimer: I was able to try out a one-month complimentary subscription of this service in consideration of a review.
Every month, five judges, from a larger pool of judges, choose one recommended book each. Based on a preferences profile, one book is automatically chosen for you, but the service will alert you via email in case you'd like to sneak a peek at your pick, choose something different from the five selections, or add additional titles to your box.
Straight off, I was pretty excited by some of the judges, namely Emily St. John Mandel and Nina Sankovitch; also, one of the most prolific readers I know, Liberty Hardy from Book Riot and the All the Books podcast.
Shipping was super fast, and I received my hardcover (less than 400 pages, as promised) in a jiffy, and while I haven't read the book yet, I think the service is cool and follows through on its claims.
Price-wise, the service is really reasonable with three available plans:
1-month plan: $16.99
3-month: $39.99 ($13.33 per month)
12-month: $99.99 ($8.33 per month)
In light of the current price of hardcover books, this rocks. I was browsing when we were on vacation recently, and the book I picked up in hardcover (and quickly dropped like it was hot) was $27. Too rich for my blood!
Book of the Month also hosts a community component: message boards where readers can discuss and compare their picks. It's a nice gateway to the larger book community, methinks!
For you and me, those of us who may already be deeply rooted in the online book community, this service is probably not a must-have. But I know plenty of people who lack the mass recommendations we receive, so I can see this being a great gift for someone who's not entrenched in the book world or who isn't already subscribed to a box.
Thanks for letting me try you out, Book of the Month!