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Book of the Month: The Subscription Box Goes Literary

Anahita Padmanabhan ’18/ Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

We live in a magical world where you can click some buttons online, put in your credit card, and a few days later have whatever you want at your doorstep. Or mailroom. It could be clothes, shoes, electronics, even food. Amazon has created their “Amazon Pantry” so that you don’t even need to keep ordering groceries, they just send it to you. Birch box has become popular, sending samples of makeup to you so you don’t have to leave your room to get it. These boxed deliveries have been on the rise these past few years.

Book of the Month
Image Credit: Book of the Month

Subscription boxes work like magazines. You pay a certain amount per month, and during that given time you get boxes delivered of whatever item you want. There are cookies, clothes, and now books. Book of the Month is one of those sites. Every month they curate five books. For whatever length of time a reader wants, they can pay for it, and get books delivered to their house or dorm. Readers get to select what they want out of those five books.

The books are selected by staff at Book of the Month as well as just various people, like librarians, authors, or even actors. On their website, you can see who selected what book, and the site gives the staff and others an opportunity to explain why they chose their book and to give a little summary of what it’s about. There even is a little bit of information about the authors. You can also look back to see what five books have been selected before, who selected them, and all the other information.

There is a reason that subscription boxes are so popular. For one, it’s convenient so there is no need to leave your room. You get all these books delivered to you which is especially helpful for people who love to read but maybe don’t have the time go to bookstores. All readers have to do is just order once and have enough books for a month.

The second reason is that it widens horizons. You can get a subscription box for anything, and the point of most of them is to give the customer the opportunity to try things that they may normally not want to try. These books give readers the opportunity to see what other people have enjoyed reading, and maybe try it themselves, all at about the cost of one hardcover book. For that price you can get five books, so it might make people feel more secure in extending their horizons and reading a book that they might not want to spend so much money on in fear that they won’t like it.

Screenshot 2016-06-10 13.56.06That leads to the third benefit—price. There is nothing quite like an actual book, but they can get to be pretty pricey. Nook and Kindle prices, for the most part, tend to be cheaper than actual books, but there is the cost for the actual device, which can be very expensive. Book of the Month offers month-to-month payments (for either every month allowing you to stop whenever you want), a three-month subscription, or a twelve-month subscription. The most that someone will pay for this opportunity is $17 a month. Five books for $17 is $3.40 per book if someone chooses to get all the books. Anyone can tell you that’s a good deal.

It’s really no surprise that subscription boxes are popular. There are some great benefits to them for little effort on the part of readers. Hopefully we see this bring new authors and great books to more people, and we can see the reading community grow stronger and wider!

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