Posted by: Gregg | May 17, 2007

I don’t think that libraries have too much to worry about here.

Found via Metafilter:

It’s Bookswim! It’s like Netflix, except with books! And it’s only twenty-five bucks a month!

I wonder if the marketing geniuses behind this know that libraries are, y’know, free. You can even renew books if you aren’t done with them by the due date. That’s also free. And if you want a book your library doesn’t have, they can use interlibrary loan to get it from another library that does have it. That’s free, too.

The only way I can ever imagine this working would be for the big bestsellers, like the Harry Potter books, where there would be a wait list involved.  Or maybe a community that doesn’t have a library in easy distance. Otherwise? Going the way of


  1. yikes, I dunno. My wife and I think this is a recipe for disaster. How many people read on the toilet or in the tub? Do you really want those objects in your house? And what if you’re a non-smoker? Other people’s smoked-up books is not a good smell.

    These concerns also apply to library books, but there’s still something people seem to respect about library books. Who knows?

  2. Never under-estimate the lazyness of the general populace, at the cost of a few bucks 😉

  3. Hate to be the devil’s advocate in any situation, but people are lazy and a trip to the library vs something in their mailbox at home might be worth 25 bucks to someone. I actually do not use any online movie service anymore and have opted for trying to support the local video store. I have a library about a block from me so I would be a fool to pay to get books over the mail.

  4. That reminds me: huge pet peeve – opening a library book and getting hit in the face by the smell of cigarette smoke is one of the worst things ever.

    Sure, a business like this would attract some folks, but with a limited catalog I can’t imagine that it would attract enough people to be profitable. The cost of mailing the books alone would start getting prohibitive real quick – that isn’t a problem with Netflix, since DVDs only weigh a few ounces. But if I order the five-pound “Essential Harlan Ellison” or, god forbid, one of those massive Robert Jordan doorstops, it’ll cost me more to ship than the service itself.

  5. I enjoyed this as a reminder about how much I love libraries.
    The general free-ness, the endless view of books wall to wall and at our local library, the insane amount of huge windows that just flood the place with sunlight.

    – pom.

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