I recently came across a new service called Booksfree.
Booksfree is a service that allows you to “rent” paperback books and CD/MP3 audiobooks. You can get unlimited rentals with no shipping or handling fees. Prices start with 2 books at a time for the “low” price of $9.99 a month. Think of it as the Netflix of books.
Hmmmm… this sounds like another service out there… I think it’s in just about every community. They let you check out books, audiobooks, music, videos… oh, and all you have to do is show them your card….
Oh, yeah! The LIBRARY. That’s right folks, you can “rent” books from the library. FOR FREE.
I was blown away by the ridiculousness of Booksfree. Especially when I read some of their testimonials:
“This is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. I no longer spend all of my money on paperbacks that I used to trade in. I would take 20 really brand new, only read by me, books and trade them in and get maybe seven back. Now instead of budgeting for all the new paperbacks I just add them to my reading list… Joy from Oregon.”
Really? The best thing she’s ever done in her life? Wow.
And don’t even get me started on the budgeting thing…
I understand that many people dislike having to return books to the library. I understand transportation may be an issue. I get that people like having shiny new books on their shelves. And for those people, there are other services out there that can save you some money without the monthly fees. (PaperbackSwap and SwapTree come to mind).
That said, there are still some very good reasons for using your local public library:
1) You are paying for this service with your taxpayer dollars. You may as well get something from it.
2) Whatever a library doesn’t have, they can get for you through interlibrary loan.
3) Everything is free (unless you’re making photo copies or printing something). Many local libraries have Bookmobiles or Mail-a-Book services for rural patrons.
4) Learning to return things you’ve borrowed in a timely manner is a good life skill to have.
5) Learning how to find and share resources is a great frugal living skill.
You don’t need a service like Booksfree to have access to a lot of books. Just visit your local library.