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Book of the Month Club

November 10, 2015

Book of the Month club

Remember the Book of the Month Club?  You’d get a page full of book stickers, pick out a few and affix them to your order form, and then receive specially bound books in the mail.  That system died away with the internet and online shopping but the Book of the Month has been revised in a new, modernized version.

You can join the new Book of the Month Club for one month ($16.99), three months ($38.97), or a year ($107.88).  Each month five “judges” present books for members to choose from.  Judges come from a rotating panel of people in publishing and may include a guest judge.  At the first of the month, members select one of the five books and it is shipped to them.  Books from past months can be added to your box for $12.99.

I was given a complimentary three month subscription to the Book of the Month Club and, for the most part,  enjoyed the experience.  Here are some of my thoughts:

The Pros:

  • With a paid subscription, you get one quality book a month.  The judges have weeded through a lot of books to present books they consider gems.  They’re not always the on the best seller lists so you can find books you might have otherwise overlooked.
  • The books are fairly priced – with an annual subscription, the cost is $8.99 per book, including shipping.
  • There are discussion threads for each of the books.
  • Books are not specially bound Book of the Month Club editions.
  • You can give a membership as a gift.
  • Books are shipped quickly and come well packaged.

The Cons:

  • Once you start a subscription, you can’t skip a month, even if none of the books appeal to you.
  • As Beth Fish Reads pointed out, the panel of judges is not very diverse.
  • The discussion threads aren’t very active at this point.
  • There are only five books to choose from each month so bookworms may have trouble finding a book that appeals to them that they don’t already own.

The new Book of the Month Club is still in its infancy and I expect it to improve and grow as it continues.  Check this service out for yourself or for the book lovers on your gift list this holiday season.


25 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2015 7:14 am

    I thought very seriously about joining, but the cons you listed were ones I didn’t want to deal with. I especially don’t want to have to choose from a list of 5 books if none of them appeal to me at all.

  2. November 10, 2015 7:44 am

    I agree with Vicki, the choice seems quite small (even more so if the judge panel is not very diverse).

  3. November 10, 2015 8:40 am

    I liked the idea of the book of the month club, but after reading your cons I’ve decided its not for me. The judge panel is not diverse and there are only five books to choose from – well it doesn’t sound that great after all. Thanks for sharing about your experience!

  4. November 10, 2015 9:12 am

    Wow. It’s been a long time since I heard the words “book of the month club.” Don’t know if I will look into, but it’s still a cool idea.

  5. Patty permalink
    November 10, 2015 10:10 am

    It’s interesting but maybe too restricting for me…but thank you!

  6. November 10, 2015 10:41 am

    I remember the Book of the Month Club! How interesting that it is back. Thanks for sharing some of your impressions, Kathy. I don’t think I would do very well with it as my reading has to fit with my diverse interests and my crazy schedule!

  7. November 10, 2015 10:54 am

    I had joined many many years ago and enjoyed my subscription–mostly. I don’t think it’s really practical in my life right now, although I admit any sort of book club is tempting. 🙂

  8. November 10, 2015 12:06 pm

    Interesting…I remember belonging to something like this several years ago. I think I would be put off by the thought of being locked in….yes, a trap, of sorts. But I did enjoy it, back in the day.

  9. November 10, 2015 1:06 pm

    It’s been a long time since I was a member of Book of the Month Club. I kind of remember getting a certain number of books for $1 each up front, then one a month after that. It seems like there was an option to refuse the monthly selection back then, too, but maybe I’m mistaken…

  10. November 10, 2015 2:00 pm

    I used to love the book of the month club; not sure if this is for me though. Maybe, since there’s only 5 books I might be forced to pick something outside of my comfort zone that I’d end up loving.

  11. November 10, 2015 3:38 pm

    I haven’t heard of this book club! I don’t think I’d like not being able to skip a month if nothing appeals to me. Thanks for giving us the lowdown on this one – there’s so many book subscription services out there now!

  12. November 10, 2015 7:24 pm

    Thanks to blogging, I think we have access to informal book clubs all the time now, without any expense either….

  13. Kim permalink
    November 10, 2015 8:30 pm

    Interesting, I have never heard of this. Thanks for the review!

  14. November 10, 2015 10:26 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your candid thoughts on this. I didn’t even know this was available but after looking at the panel of judges and the listing of books I don’t believe I’ll sign up.

  15. Beth F permalink
    November 11, 2015 9:08 am

    Very fair assessment!

  16. November 11, 2015 9:28 am

    Book of the month club! Ahhh yes, if you ‘forgot’ to turn your refusal card in by a certain date, they would ship their selected book of the month and you had to pay for it. I was always late with my refusal cards back then—so I ended up with books I normally wouldn’t have chosen. Some were good, some were not. This is a fun idea, but I agree, 5 books to choose from isn’t much.

  17. November 11, 2015 10:19 am

    Nice review – thanks for sharing!

  18. November 11, 2015 1:07 pm

    I like how you fairly accessed this new attempt to bring back the old BOMC. I was a member for a couple of decades and loved the diversity of books offered to me. I do remember having the ability to refuse a book for a month, but you could only refuse for a certain number before you were cancelled. The best thing about the club – access to a wide variety of books – no longer matters to me as I have that with the internet. Also, a limited number of judges is nothing anymore. Now I can see what my book blogging friends are reading as well as book reviews from important reviewers around the world.

  19. November 11, 2015 1:40 pm

    I’m a very diverse reader, so I’m not sure this will be for me if the panel is not diverse enough. Has there been poetry on the list? That would be make or break for me

  20. November 11, 2015 1:46 pm

    This is new to me. I wonder if it will be available for Canada.

  21. November 11, 2015 9:16 pm

    Interesting…never heard of this subscription before.

  22. November 13, 2015 2:29 am

    I remember the BOMC. Not too sure this will work in the internet age when most of us have access to so many more than five choices. I did hop over there and take a peek at what they are offering, and I do see what you mean about diversity. Plus the inability to skip a month is a deal breaker.

  23. bookingmama permalink
    November 13, 2015 9:07 am

    Terrific summary of the program. You know my feelings were much the same!

  24. November 13, 2015 9:18 pm

    Hm, it sounds like fun but if the monthly choices start to feel similar every month I would certainly get bored.

  25. November 18, 2015 12:10 pm

    Interesting concept but it sounds like some improvements could be made.

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