I love the idea of a book subscription service, but I always felt overwhelmed by the choices and never really made the jump. Then about a month ago I found a coupon offering a 50% discount on a three-month subscription of Book of the Month. At $23 (including shipping) for three hardcover books, it was a really good deal and a perfect way for me to test the waters.

My May selection is scheduled to arrive in the next couple of weeks, which means I’m about halfway through this experiment. I figure this is a good time to do a few minutes’ worth of reflecting on my book subscription journey so far.

The process: Each month BotM gives you about a week to choose a book from that month’s selection of five books. To help you decide, each novel has a brief summary and review of the book written by other authors, editors, and even celebrities. If you don’t like any of the options, you can opt to skip that month’s box and your membership is extended another month. You can also purchase up to two more books (from the current or past months’ selections) for $9.99 each.

cover

The selection: There wasn’t a book in either April or May that got my heart racing, and out of the ten I’ve seen so far, the novel I chose for April was the only one I had heard about (briefly, on NPR). Having the option to skip a month is great, and I probably would have for May except that I’m moving soon and want to wrap this up before my mailing address changes and I’m in limbo for a while.

may selections

The value: Normally a three-month membership costs approximately $45, which includes three hardcover books (and up to two add-ons each month for $9.99 each). Unlike other subscription services BotM does not include goodies. May’s hardcover book selections cost around $17 on Amazon Prime, so you’ll have a slight discount if you order through BotM.

table

Final thoughts: I won’t be extending my subscription once my membership expires in June. Though books are a little cheaper through BotM and you have a choice in what’s shipped to you, I’m personally looking for a box that is less predictable and filled with more bookish surprises, even if it means getting a book I may not enjoy.

Have you tried Book of the Month or another book subscription service? What did you think? And let me know your thoughts on Heat & Light if you’ve had a chance to read it!

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