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For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a giant book nerd. Growing up, I spent most of my time curled up in my bed reading any book I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, as I got older, life happened — which meant more time spent on things like homework and boyfriends and less time spent in my favorite places (Hogwarts, Narnia, 19th century England, just to name a few…).
Though I read a lot in college (hello, I was an English major), it wasn’t necessarily for pleasure anymore, and one of the things I was really looking forward to after graduation was finally having the time to read what I wanted to read, when I wanted to read it. But what I didn’t expect was having no clue what to read once I didn’t have a professor giving me assignments.
Though there are other subscription boxes that send you books each month, what makes BOTM stand out among the rest is that you actually get to choose which book(s) you want to receive in each box. At the beginning of each month, the Book of the Month club judges (ranging from bestselling authors to editors to librarians) select one book to personally recommend. Each month, there is a different celebrity “guest judge” who makes a selection as well — past guest judges include David Sedaris, Whoopi Goldberg, Josh Radnor, and Arianna Huffington. Each recommendation includes a brief description of the book, as well as an explanation of why each judge picked this particular book.
Your subscription includes the cost of one of the five recommended books each month. However, if you can’t choose between so many great selections (this happens to me nearly every month), you can simply add up to two more books to your box for just $9.99 each. Alternatively, if you don’t like any of the books offered that month, Book of the Month allows you to skip a month and continue your subscription the following month.
Did I mention that all of the books are hardcover? So naturally, they all smell amaazing (oops, did I just say that out loud? #booksnifferprobs). But besides the attractive book aroma that comes with hardcover books, any book lover knows that hardcover costs more. With the basic BOTM subscription of $16.99 per month, not only do you get one reasonably priced beautiful hardcover book, but you also have the ability to get two more beautiful hardcover books for the ridiculously cheap price of $9.99 each.
When you receive your box, each book you selected comes with a personalized note from the judge who recommended it, as well as a bookmark to keep your beautiful new books from becoming dog-ear victims. Lately, I’ve also noticed that BOTM has been sending little “extras” — one example is a ring pop to go along with the ring-themed cover of one of the popular selections for the month.
Honestly, I love this subscription box so much that the only con I can think of is the fact that it can get pricey if you end up getting the maximum three books per month every month. But if you have self-control and/or an unlimited amount of money to spend on books, subscribe away!
The Verdict: Is Book of the Month Worth It?
I would probably cancel every single subscription box I currently receive (yes, even my BarkBox — sorry Theo) before I would cancel my Book of the Month Club membership. Since subscribing, I have discovered so many great books that I never would have known about otherwise. An added bonus is that knowing that I’m going to have more books coming my way in a month’s time keeps me motivated to promptly finish each book so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. I have read more books in the past few months since I joined BOTM than I have in the entire year since I graduated college.
As a result of this subscription, my imagination and creativity are staying active, but unfortunately so is my wallet. Though this box is technically not saving me money like my favorite beauty boxes do (quite the opposite probably, since I’m buying more books than I would normally), getting consistently great book recommendations, along with the convenience of them magically showing up at my doorstep is well worth the expense to me.
Even though subscription boxes started off as a convenient way to receive beauty product samples, they have now expanded to include nearly everything under the sun — from personal stylists, to meal prepping, to wine recommendations. But most of all, I love that this type of service is reviving outdated things like physical books and preventing them from fading away into the digital world. Book of the Month allows you the same convenience of ordering an e-book on your iPad without sacrificing the weight and feel (and smell!) of the experience that comes with holding a real book in your hands — and that, my friends, makes my little nerd heart pretty darn happy.