There are a number of really wonderful things about living in a small town, however “small town libraries” has never been said to be one of them. We have a minuscule quaint little library, right in the center of town. It is honestly the size of the children’s section in the library where I grew up. The selection in this tiny building is just atrocious, especially if you like a specific author or genre. The only good thing about this miniature version of a real library is that it will force you to read outside your comfort zone – by not having any books you would normally choose available to check out.
BookSwim wants to change all that.
Known as “Netflix for books”, BookSwim is an online book rental service. There are a ton of books to choose from in a number of categories. Almost anything your heart could desire to read is available, including titles that are only available for rental through BookSwim – no where else. Fall in love with a book and don’t want to give it back? BookSwim offers an option to keep a book at a reduced price.
BookSwim offered a 3-month trial membership for their “3 Books at a Time” plan in order to give us an idea of how the site works (stay tuned to find out how to get your own 3-month trial membership!) so I signed in last October and started shopping for books.
The selection is huge, really. There are books in almost any genre, I even found knitting books! One thing I noticed right away is that they had books by some really popular authors that are the hardest to find in my local library. For example, I really like Jodi Picoult books and have been wanting to read more of them, but even when I order them in the online system for our library it is weeks before they are available to check out. With BookSwim I was able to read 7 of them in 3 months, and they were delivered to my front door by my friendly mailman. That’s pretty cool.
Here’s how it went: I logged on and created an account (it was pretty fast and easy) and started finding books I would like to read to fill my “Rental Pool”. I was able to drag and drop the books around so the ones I wanted to read first were towards the top, and for each shipment I was able to pick one book to be guaranteed part of the delivery.
The biggest drawback I found with the system was the time it took for shipping. It would probably depend on how far you lived from their distribution center, but for me it was pretty long. I also had a hard time tracking the package, but it did finally arrive. There were three books, each labeled with a large sticker saying “Rent Me from BookSwim”, as well as a bag and shipping label for returning the items. I started reading as soon they arrived!
Once I had finished two of the three books, I was able to activate my shipping label on the BookSwim site (just by clicking to say I was returning the items) and drop the package off postage paid in any outgoing mail slot. Then, I could read the last book while I waited for my next shipment (of course, I read a little too fast for that to actually work, but it’s a nice feature).
I received my third shipment of books just today and I’m so excited to get started on them!
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A complimentary product/service was provided for this review however all opinions expressed are our own. We were not compensated in any other way for this review. See Mommies with Cents disclosure policy for more details.
After a decade in the corporate world as a working mom, Rachel, a MWC guest blogger, is a new stay at home mom to her 9-year old daughter and 3 month old son. She also writes for The Examiner as the Baby and Toddler Gear Examiner in the Seattle area. Check out her stories and reviews HERE.
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