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Paid Book Subscriptions: Do or Don’t?

Wallace Yovetich

Staff Writer

Wallace Yovetich grew up in a home where reading was preferred to TV, playing outside was actually fun, and she was thrilled when her older brothers weren’t home so she could have a turn on the Atari. Now-a-days she watches a bit more TV, and considers sitting on the porch swing (with her laptop) “playing outside”. She still thinks reading is preferable to most things, though she’d really like to find out where her mom put that old Atari (Frogger addicts die hard). She runs a series of Read-a-Longs throughout the year (as well as posting fun bookish tidbits throughout the week) on her blog, Unputdownables. After teaching for seven years, Wallace is now an aspiring writer. Blog: Unputdownables Twitter: @WallaceYovetich

I can’t quite decide what I think about paid book subscriptions. What I mean by paid book subscriptions are the groups that you join for which you pay (or donate) a fixed amount and they send you a book of their choice each month (or every other month). I’ve done two of them, both of which sent me a mix of books–some that I was incredibly excited about and others which I gave away without even reading a page.

It may seem silly that I am thinking about joining another one (this time Powell’s IndieSpensable program) after quitting the last two, but there is something thrilling about getting a book in the mail and feeling like someone is making the decision for you about what to read next. Paring down the enormous burden/rush of choosing my next read feels like a bit of a treat. I did read that last sentence, and I know I sound crazy. I want someone to take away the rush I get from being able to make the decision about which book to read next? Confession: I rarely read my new books right away (another story for another day), so unless I was fully committed to reading what I got in the mail when I got it in the mail, it wouldn’t necessarily be my very next read.

However, if I could try to relinquish the control over always choosing what I’m reading and put that control in capable hands, it might make for a very interesting and rewarding experience. I’d be reading books that I may not have otherwise read, and it will make it that much more exciting to pick the reads that I do get to choose on my own.

What do you think, dear readers? Are paid book groups a good idea or not? Are you part of one or have you been in the past?