A reader recommended this link to me, Booksfree.com which seems similar to Netflix.com where instead of renting movies, you’re renting as many paperback books or audiobooks as you want according to your membership plan. I’d never heard of this site before now but it looks like it was launched in 2000 and is still growing strong (they delivered their 2 millionth book in Feb).
I quickly scanned the website and it seems like another viable choice for those readers who are looking to save $$ on books. Members have 24/7 access to catalog and supposedly, all you have to do is add books to your que and your books are sent to you within 14 days via media mail (or sooner depending on where you live). Members are even allowed to donate books for credit toward purchase (haven’t read all the deets on that).
Book Rentals R Us?
The prices for plans range from $9.99/month to $47.99/month. There are no late fees and you’re free to keep your books as long as you like but you must return either 2 or 3 books, depending on your plan, before you are allowed to receive any more books in return. Mailers are free as is shipping “both ways” and like Netflix, if you like the book you’ve read, you have the option to buy (unless the title is rare or limited availability).
The catalog boasts of having new and OOP books. Of course I went straight to the catalog and selected “Romance” and had 18356 matches. The categories are nicely broken down and I did a search on “Anne Stuart” and saw that her May release, Silver Falls, will be available to rent and you can save it for your que, too. Also, I like this website’s functionality. You can browse by popularity, author (first name or last name) and pub date (newest and oldest). Most established and well known websites can’t even do that much. Looks like a great website overall, but those prices…
I don’t know. Book rentals? I already have a stockpile that I am actively trying to get rid of at the moment and I don’t need the extra added expense. I personally think the prices are too steep. I had mistakenly thought the prices were per year not per month. Well, I like using my local library and luckily that’s free and I can wait. Book rentals? One reader said it saves her a ton of money which is all to the good. With everybody cutting corners on spending, book rentals just might be the right choice for you (or not).
In closing, I am not reviewing this website. More like bringing it to your attention (if you’ve lived under a rock like me). Also is the name “Booksfree” a misnomer since you’re paying each month for these books? Just to play devils’ advocate here, are members required to make sure the books are returned in a “like new” condition (as I am completely anal about my books). What would make you want to pay to rent a book versus owning it, buying it from a used bookstore or if risk is what you’re worried about, check it out from the library?