swimming in books

First there was Netflix which I can totally understand renting a movie to watch is about a quarter the price of buying it for keeps. And as much as I don’t adore them, as they have some secret booby traps one must live with, they are a unique and incredibly useful service. I use it all the time.

But here comes Bookswim – doubtful that books can swim, float perhaps, sink most definitely, but swim . . . not so much. An online book ‘rental’ service – it probably looked VERY good on paper, but in practice it sounds problematic. Bookswim theorizes that folks are buying and immediately reading books all the time and therefore need a constant flood of new material. In reality we all know that’s ain’t entirely accurate and now we have the research to prove it. (via CNN)

Most pleasure readers seek and buy books to fill our To-Be-Read pile, so we have a constant tiny library from which to choose from when we DO have time to read something. Even when we bring something home from the library, it’s usually 5 or 6 titles that looked good on the shelf and really only 1 or 2 get read all the way to the last page.

Having potential to-be-reads winging their way back and forth from Bookswim doesn’t entirely make me want to read them any faster, it merely puts pressure on me that I paid for the privilege of seeing if I want to read them and I really should make an effort.

I am not sure if it indicates a lack of enthusiasm for their project but they recently reduced their monthly subscription prices –
3 Books At-A-Time $19.99
5 Books At-A-Time $23.99
7 Books At-A-Time $27.99
9 Books At-A-Time $31.99
11 Books At-A-Time $35.99

If these were DVDs, I’d be interested, I can easily finish 1 dvd evening making it cost effective. But some books I can read in a day or two, others may take me years to finish – last time I left Leopold Bloom he was having it off on a rock…. All I keep seeing is all the books I could BUY for that amount of money….to bring books into the house merely to taste them to see if i want to finish them it seems excessive.

Bookswim is hoping to drum up business by using the word Netflix wherever their own appears. Now I’m not sure how the Netflix folks think about that but it makes me very suspicious. Is all they want to be is a copy of a successful company perhaps they aren’t putting enough thought into their own.

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