Netflix for books?
January 30, 2010 2:45 AM   Subscribe

What are my options for renting books online? I'm looking for a service similar to Netflix/Lovefilm, but with books.

I'm looking to find a service that will let me read a book and then post it back. I have a Lovefilm account (think Netflix for the UK), and I love the fact that I get new DVDs regularly without having to think about it. It works out a lot cheaper than buying DVDs from ebay or Amazon and also solves the problem of having either large piles of DVDs lying around that I won't watch again or selling them on.

My local library won't post books out to me. I don't want audio books because I find the person's voice off-putting. I'd *prefer* not to download ebooks because I don't want to strain my eyes reading on the computer, but if the service is good/cheap enough, I'd put up with that. I've tried services like Paperbackswap, but find them to be very hit and miss with regards to quality/choice of books/the other person wanting something I have (otherwise they would be ideal).

Any ideas?
posted by Solomon to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
posted by buzzv at 4:01 AM on January 30, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sadly, Bokswim is US only. :(
posted by Solomon at 4:14 AM on January 30, 2010

Was one of the swapping services you tried BookMooch? It's international, and members can make notes about the book's condition so you have a rough idea of what you're getting.
posted by phatkitten at 5:53 AM on January 30, 2010

It isn't clear if you are asking because you are housebound or would just like the convenience that you have with DVDs. If it is the former, check with even a distant (perhaps larger) library as they may well provide such services (along with inter-library loan requests).

This catalog of UK Public Libraries seems quite comprehensive. My suggestion is based on the existence of similar services in the US system.
posted by fydfyd at 6:13 AM on January 30, 2010

I use Read It Swap It in the UK and I love it. Occasionally I can't find a book I want but I think the selection is pretty good overall.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:27 AM on January 30, 2010

fydfyd, can you elaborate on libraries in the US that mail out books? I've never heard of such a thing.
posted by etoile at 1:25 PM on February 1, 2010

Booksfree is another option. Flat monthly fee and they have both audiobooks and paperbacks. I think it's a bit pricey (starting at $10.99/mo), but it's definitely an option.
posted by kjhosein at 1:13 PM on May 27, 2010

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