Thursday, August 23, 2007

It’s like Netflix, only it’s books

Do you think the price of books has grown prohibitive? Is $25 or $30 too much for the latest James Patterson or Dan Brown thriller?, a Web site now in beta, hopes there are plenty of people who feel that way. The company is looking to take the Netflix model of movie rentals and apply it to the world of books. Subscribers can rent books, keep them as long as they want, and return them as often as their plan allows.

Like Netflix, users line books up in queue for shipping depending on the plan. Also like Netflix, there is no charge to ship or return the books. The site says it has more than 150,000 titles in its library.

Plans start at $19.99 per month for the company’s three-at-a-time option. As an example of what they have, BookSwim’s top rentals are:

1. A Thousand Splendid Suns
2. Nineteen Minutes: A novel
3. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
4. Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl’s Guide to Why it Often Sucks in the City, or Who are These Idiots and Why Do They All Live Next Door to Me?
5. The Yiddish Policemen’s Union: A Novel

Bookswim might just be on to something. The site was pretty much shut down Wednesday afternoon due largely to high traffic in the wake of blog and media attention like a mention on and a write-up at C/net’s Webware site.

—BEN MOOK, Assistant Business Editor

1 comment:

sean said...

Call me old fashioned, but couldn't you go to the library for free?