I was reading through blogs today, and came across a couple of links for BookSwim, which I’d never heard of before.
It looks like a fantastic concept, working pretty much how NetFlix does with movies. Basically, you pay a monthly fee, select books online that you want to read, and a certain number of them are sent to you in the mail. When you’re done with the book(s), you send it/them back. The return shipping is included in your monthly fee (they send a pre-paid envelope/bag thingy with the books for you to mail it back in), and the number of books that you can hold onto at any one time depends on the plan level that you have chosen. And, if you decide that you want to keep a book that you have read, you simply click a button online and a used book price is charged to your account the following month.
On further inspection, though, it’s only available in the United States. That makes me sad, because I would definitely sign up for a service like that, and know many other people who would as well.
The only thing I know of that works similarly in Canada is BookMooch. It’s not quite the same, though – signup is free, you post the books that you want to give away, mail them out to someone who requests them, for which you get points on the website, that you can then use to request books for yourself. It’s great for the book exchange aspect, but harder to guarantee that you’ll get the books you want within a reasonable time, and you still need to worry about mailing the packages out, which is kind of a pain.
Maybe one day someone will start something like this up in Canada, or BookMooch will extend the service.
A girl can hope!