Sometimes those Instagram ads get you! After scrolling past Book of the Month ads on Facebook and Instagram, I finally clicked it. I'd say it was due to the 30% off special they were running, but I'm sure it was the offer a free tote with the first book. I'm a sucker for tote bags.
Before I share my thoughts on BOTM, a monthly subscription service for book lovers, I should share a bit about me. I love books! I almost always in the middle of two books and have one or two audiobooks on my phone for when I walk my dog. However, I hate paying for things. I only use Audible when my mom gets it for a Christmas gift. I mooch Netflix of my sister and my boyfriend pays for Hulu+. I love these subscriptions, but I won't pay for them myself. I continue to listen to ads on Spotify and Pandora because I refuse to pay $9.99/month to get rid of them. You call it cheap, I call it frugal.
And yet...I'll continue paying for Book of the Month.
I love reading new books but I hate looking for new books. Buying a book and being disappointed in the first few chapters is the worst. Searching through Pinterest and Amazon for highly recommended books takes more time than actually reading a book. I never know what to read. With Book of the Month, they offer 5 highly reviewed books for you to choose from. You get the synopsis and a review from one of their "judges". You can also see what other BOTMers have chosen. What's more, if none of them interest you, simply skip that month. I did this for October.
Second, as much as I love ebooks, I hate not being able to borrow and lend books. With BOTM, you get a hardback book. Once you're done, lend it to your friends. Better yet, have your friends join BOTM and swap books when you're done.
Another great thing about reading is talking with other people who love (or hate) the book as much as you did. BOTM opens discussion boards for each book so you can hop online and share your thoughts. Find out if everyone else hated the protagonist as much as you did.
You get a package every month! Who doesn't love getting non-bill mail?
Truly, it is.
For one, you're getting a hardback book which often is more than $15 at Target or Barnes & Noble. Books are $11.99 each when you buy a 12-month subscription. You can add extra books to your box for only $9.99. The shipping is free and sometimes you get gifts like a wine coozie or a tote bag. There are often deals for 30% off or more. Each month they have photo contests for a chance to win three months free. Subscribe here and you'll get 30% off your first three months! You're welcome.
Lastly, it makes a great gift. If your mom is always bugging you for gift ideas or you're stuck on ideas of what to get your sister for Christmas, a three- or 12-month subscription is an easy, yet thoughtful gift. I also do this with Audible and Birchbox, but that's for another time.
I should tell you a few things I didn't like about it, just to be fair.
I hate paying for books. I know I said this already but it's a big issue for me. If you hate buying books, you're going to struggle with this, too. I'm a strong advocate for libraries and swapping with friends.
The online community can be overwhelming, especially for us slower readers. I got an email about the discussion boards about two days after my book arrived. I'd barely started and the boards were full of spoilers (though carefully marked). The only time I really dove into the discussions was when I didn't like the ending to a book and wanted to find out if anyone agreed with me. They did.
They're all hardback books, and I prefer paperbacks (or e-books). They take up a lot more room on my shelves and in my purse. Plus, I take the paper covers off and that drives my boyfriend crazy.
My postman had a hard time getting it to me, so beware if you live in apartment or have a small mailbox. Each new month meant a trip to the post office to hunt down my package. I wish they used UPS.
All that aside, I love it and I can't wait for November's book selections. If you love books, receiving packages and making new friends, give it a try. If you use my referral link, you can get 30% off your first three-months (plus a free tote!) so you should probably go ahead and give it a try. Then, let me know what you think!
Aside from being one of Rebecca's younger sisters, Maggie Christ is a freelance social media and content strategist. Maggie has writing experience in the nonprofit, real estate, recruiting, technology, and home goods industries. She enjoys running, camping and reading on the couch with her pup. in 2014, actress Anna Kendrick responded to her tweet.