Paid Book Subscriptions: Do or Don’t?

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?