We love books, especially those juicy, page-turning bestsellers. But in these recessionary times, the average cost of a hardback ($26!) has put a cramp in our reading style. Sure we frequent the public library when we can, but unfortunately we can’t ever seem to get our hands on the latest must-read due to long waiting lists. (Plus, the library doesn’t serve mocha lattes or let us browse in our pajamas at 2 a.m.)Enter BookSwim, a Netflix-style service for readers that specializes in current hardcovers. The concept is simple. Sign up for a monthly subscription (they offer a variety of plans depending on how many books you want to have checked out at one time). Then log on to the the BookSwim site and set up your reading list. BookSwim mails you the books you crave, along with a prepaid shipping mailer to send them back. Keep books as long as you like (there are no late fees) and Book Swim ships you more upon their return.
The site was founded by George Burke who used to spend hours reading the latest releases at his local bookstore café, then put them back on the shelf at the end of the night. He noticed others were doing the same thing and got inspired to create a community for readers like himself. Their motto: read more, pay less.
And if a must-read becomes a must-have, no problem. BookSwim’s “try before you buy” policy lets you pay for any book that you just don’t want to send back.