Friday, October 28, 2016

On Buying Books

Happy Friday!  I'm closing this week out with a fun topic:  BOOKS!!

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
I figure I will give this 3 months and then decide whether to renew my membership. I'm really excited about the prospect of receiving some hot new releases at an affordable price!

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. 


Marlys Dotzenrod said...

This sounds like your "cup of tea"! I think book reveiws are so helpful in deciding what to read as I hate to start a book that is a big waste of time!

Jeanie said...

I used to do Book of the Month club YEARS (read that -- Decades) ago. Then the mystery book club and some others. I'd forget to tell them I didn't want the book and ended up with things I didn't want. But it does make it easy. I feel guilty after reading your purge -- Just ordered $100 from Amazon! Wanted to stock up on books in series I read that I'm missing books for. Did CD of the month too -- same thing. But it does make it convenient like all shop online. I'll look forward to hearing what you like from your selections.

Nora said...

This sounds really fun/great. I have heard a lot of buzz and good things about it so far. I am behind on reading and usually get really lucky with getting books I want from my library without having to buy them, so at this point I'll likely hold off. Maybe soon I'll try something like this!

Stephany said...

I've wanted to try BOTM Club, but I just can't pull the trigger yet. I feel like it might overwhelm me, getting a new book every month and feeling like I HAVE to read it this month OR ELSE (which is a silly fear, I know). But I've looked at the selections every month for the past 6-8 months and every month, they have a book I really, really want to read! It's a tough call. I'll keep hemming and hawing and maybe soon I'll just buy a subscription. :)

Esme said...

Very impressive on the purging. For as much as I read I cannot find a book club which I find funny. I do like seeing the suggestions of others.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I used to have a subscription to a beauty box thing, that came with little samples of makeup and other beauty products ... however I found I didn't really use any of it, so I cancelled it. I think I just wanted to try it out because it was the first monthly subscription for things like that that we had in Canada, and it seamed neat. Stitch Fix is pretty cool - I might try that one day :-)

Shoshanah said...

I used to subscribe to graze which sent a box of snacks each month. They were fun and some were really delicious, but they weren't really needed.

As for books over the summer both the boy and I went through all of our books getting rid of the ones we didn't love. Of course a month later we flooded and most of the books we wanted to keep were destroyed. There were some books on higher shelves that made it, and I've been surprised what some of those were, in both good and bad ways. I'll need to go through and catalog which ones actually made, and then there's the question of which books I want to replace. It's maybe not the best way to do it, but it definitely gives new meaning to cleaning out your belongings .

Gracie said...

Great gift idea for hard-to-shop-for types!

Amber said...

If this was available in Canada I would TOTALLY sign up for it as I think it sounds like a really great way to get a newer release hard cover book each month! A 3 month subscription would be a great gift for someone!!

Sandra Bond said...

This sounds like a great subscription box. I probably wouldn't benefit from it, because I don't read enough per month, but I am curious to see how you like it.

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I gifted this to my best-friend for her birthday but have forgotten to ask how she's liked it!