It’s no secret I’ve been experiencing random reading bursts lately. Christine mentioned trying Book of the Month in a response to one of my Facebook posts about a book I’d read, but that was last year and she’s since been busy due to the baby. ? So I decided to see what all the fuss is about and try it for myself.
I’m an affiliate with Book of the Month, so if you make a purchase via my link I’ll earn a commission. However, I’m posting this review on my own prerogative and without prompting from them, yada yada yada. I wanted to test the service for myself instead of requesting to review it. Companies treat you differently when they know you’re, like, going to be blogging about them. They include extra little goodies and make sure you get priority shipping—and I wanted to actually test this for myself, do a little secret shopping, if you will.
It’s easy to sign up. I actually kind of liked it more than other subscription box programs that start your subscription already.
I was not a fan of it automatically putting me on the quarterly (3-month) plan, however. I understand they’re looking for a commitment, but when I am just testing something out, I do not wish to automatically be moved to the next plan the following month. To me, that’s a bit sleazy and forceful, but then I suppose their cancellation system shouts forced (below).
You get to choose which genres you like/wish to read more of. You don’t get to see the pricing until you answer how many books you read a month—another thing I disliked since there wasn’t a way to figure out what difference it made.
I selected one-to-two books per month—even though my typical is at least four—and my price came out to $14.99/mo., though I signed up around the time they’re having a five-dollar-first-month deal.
Considering the price of hardcover books in stores, I think about $15 is good, and even better is the $9.99 price of additional books for that box, if desired.
There are monthly selections from Book of the Month judges, each of which explain why they chose a particular book. Members get to choose a book from the selections each month to have sent to them, or they can skip if they dislike the selections.
I chose not to skip my first round, since part of the reason I signed up—aside from testing it out—was so to challenge myself to read different books and not just the books I think I might like based on their covers.
Book of the Month members who refer friends to join receive free book credits in return, which waives the $9.99 fee for additional books, which I found to be pretty cool.
I can see myself genuinely considering this in the future, possibly once I’m more comfortable with hardcover books and have sorted out my bookshelf situation. The Possessions was released in February, so I’m guessing it’s technically a new book—and whilst the selections are not totally within my interest, I do witness some gems here and there. Months can always be skipped, after all; I wouldn’t have to choose something.
My box fit into the mailbox; I think if I’d had more books, there’d have been a little more difficulty with that. The book is wrapped in plastic, with a BOTM-branded cardboard backing on the bottom and a cardboard bookmark-like rectangle with a note from the judge.
The book has BOTM labeling on the jacket and book itself, which I found a bit odd—but I guess it’s just a way to differentiate copies. It kinda makes me want a collection of them, no lie.~
The FAQ requires calling, but I emailed customer service, and came out and explained the situation I’d gotten myself into. I don’t do phone calls due to the sensory input mess and the fact that I’m hard-of-hearing in one ear, and a representative did finally get back to me with a confirmation of the discontinuation of my subscription—since I was testing it, but also because hardcover books do not tickle my fancy.
I’m not sure if they would make these exceptions always, but I really do not enjoy talking on the phone; ’tis just a stressful process I prefer to avoid.
I do not like hardcover books. I understand they’re accompanied by a particular level of prestige, but even when requesting books to review, I have to really be drawn to the book if it’s hardcover. I’m just not a fan of the hardness of them. I do bend my books, because otherwise my wrists don’t allow me to hold the book well, and trying to hold hardcover books whilst I read on one of my binges is such a painful hassle.
I do admire the sense of personal thought put into the selections what with the judges having to defend their choices; it feels a bit like receiving recommendations from friends or something, only my friends and I tend to read very different books—they love happy, feel-good plots and endings, whereas I prefer the “shit happens” and more realistic approach.
I do think Book of the Month would be fitting for book lovers and addicts who not only love hardcover books, but love surprises as well.
…but I might put it on my birthday/Christmas wish list just in case.
If you do wish to sign up, they’re doing 3-month memberships for $9.99 with a cute tote.
What do you think of book mail/surprises?