You may recall that in February, I completed a purging challenge. The vast majority of the 550 items I got rid of were books as I donated 272 books that month. I've done a lot of book purging over the last couple of years as I had realized that my book shelves no longer reflected my taste. I went from 6 book cases down to 2. It sounds extreme but it didn't feel all that extreme when I was going through the process of purging as I didn't have much attachment to many of the books I used to own.
Aside from getting rid of lots of books, for the last several years I have really cut down on the number of books I purchase and instead I rely heavily on the library. Relying on the library does require quite a bit of patience. The library system in my county is extremely well-utilized so the wait lists for books can be looooong (for example, I'm #326 on the list for "Today Will be Different" and I was #900+ on the list for the Harry Potter play and after 3 months, I'm at #307!).
I think it has been a good change to buy fewer books but sometimes my book shelves seem a little sad. And a friend was over this summer and asked to borrow a book and I had a bit of a hard time picking one out for her. So I've been thinking about adding some books to my collection going forward but wasn't quite sure how I'd go about doing that.
Then I started hearing advertisements for the Book of the Month Club on the various podcasts I listen to, especially the bookish ones. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Book of the Month Club is a monthly book subscription service. Each month, 5 judges each select a book and provide an explanation of why they chose the book. Members have until the 6th of the month to select one of the 5 books. Most of the books seem to be hard cover newer releases. Once you've made your selection, the book is shipped to you for free. If none of the books interest you, you can skip the month.
I hemmed and hawed over whether to try this out for several months, but decided to take the plunge in October as there was coupon code for 30% off a 3-month subscription + canvas bag. So for a total of about $32, I will get 3 books. I figure I will hold onto the books I end up loving and will sell the books that don't resonate well with me, which will reduce the cost of the membership.
My selection for the first month was "The Wangs vs the World" which is a book I've heard a lot of buzz about. It arrived in mid-October. They do a great job with the packaging. The book included a note from the judge with her thoughts on why she loved the book. The box also included a canvas tote which was included with the 30% off deal as well as some "after reading mints."
|My book, folded canvas tote, and mints|
Also, I noticed that you can gift someone a subscription to the service. I think this would be a fun gift for a book lover in your life as they'd get to pick something out each month and it alleviates the risk of gifting them a book they've already read.
Do you utilize any subscription services for food, clothing or books? I used to get StitchFix boxes occasionally and this summer we tried out Plated, which is a meal delivery service.
I was not compensated by Book of the Month Club to write this post, but the post does include a referral link. If you signed up using the referral link you'll receive 30% off a 3-month subscription and I will receive a free book.