The Best Club for a Broke Bibliophile

I have been a bibliophile long before I could even pronounce, much less spell, the word. (For those who aren’t familiar, a bibliophile is defined as a lover of books.) I’ve known how to read since I was four, and books became a safe place for me as I got older. In middle school, I was infamous for reading every single book in English class early, and in high school, there were way too many nights where the pages closed only as the sun rose. 

As every bibliophile knows, you come across your book collection in a variety of ways. I found mine in thrift stores, library sales, stole them from my sister, and once I had money, book stores became my favorite retailer. Over the years, my collection grew. While it was nothing amazing, I discovered on a recent trip to my parent’s house that most of my boxes were in fact books. I had left them when I moved to college, and there they stayed even after I had officially moved out to my own place. I could only take so many to campus and I chose my favorites, plus as we all know, college affords little time for reading. College is predominantly why I didn’t read as frequently and why I bought books even less—lord knows textbooks don’t count as fun reading. 

During quarantine, I decided it was the perfect time to start reading again, and yet I still didn’t. The problem was I had re-read everything I owned way too many times, and the ones I hadn’t read yet were being saved for another time. Months passed and not a book was touched, until one day, a coworker of mine brought up how she wanted to start reading again. I related so we began talking, and she told me that she had joined a club called the Book of the Month (BOTM) club. It had gotten her to start reading again with less of the pressure, you simply picked a book off a list and got it shipped to you. After borrowing some of the books she lent me, which you can find out about here and here, I decided I would bite the bullet and join. In addition to my desire to read more I wanted to start rebuilding the collection of books I once had, and getting a book shipped to me every month seemed the easiest way to do so. 

How the club works is incredibly simple: Every month there are 5 books available to choose for your box.  All the books are new and early releases, which is one of the biggest draws for me. The selection of books includes genres such as contemporary fiction, historical fiction, memoirs, romance, thrillers, young adult, and romance, as they try to please a range of audiences. The November 2020 options included a thriller, contemporary fiction, romance, young adult, and literary fiction. I chose the literary fiction novel Memorial by Bryan Washington, who BOTM told me was a repeat author on their site. Before selecting your book you are able to read a brief description, a review from another author, a synopsis, preview the first few pages, and see what they call “Good to Know”. The “Good to Know” shares basic information about the style of writing, how long the novel is, certain themes of the novel like romance or friendship, etc. When I clicked on the information I was able to see that the story had LGBTQIA characters, contained themes of romance, used no quotation marks during dialogue, and it was from multiple viewpoints. This got me more excited about the book than the description and review had, and was an easy way to judge the other books for enjoyable content or not. I felt confident in my choice given the amount of information I had about the book, something that doesn’t always happen by reading the back description or the inside sleeve synopsis.

Each month you have the first six days to login to your account and choose a book, after which it will be shipped to you within 5-7 business days. If you join in the middle of the month like I did it’s no problem, you still have the same selection available.  One of the best parts is that it is only $14.99 a month, with the option to skip any month you do not like a book. A skipped month means you won’t be charged, and your credit rolls over to the next month. While $15 may seem like a lot for a book when you are a student, consider the alternative in places like Barnes and Nobles, where the novel I chose for my November BOTM costs $21.50 and is on sale from its original $27. A mere $15 for a hardcover book that is vetted, shipped to you, and may not even be available at other retailers yet is what I would consider a steal. I am currently on the monthly plan, but they also have 3, 6, and 12-month subscription packages aimed to save you money over the course of your membership. If you still aren’t sold, the first month is only $10, and you can sign up using my referral code to make it even easier. 

Lastly, BOTM offers subscriptions as gifts, so if all else fails, you can add “More books through BOTM” to your holiday wish list. Winter is coming and with it, the perfect opportunity to hunker down and find yourself lost in a story. Don’t miss out on this amazing subscription!