BookSwim – the Netflix of Book Rentals


BookSwim online book rental library serviceLast month, I received an email from BookSwim. I had never heard of them before so I took a quick look at their site. After my quick peek, I could see that BookSwim is something that might interest some book-loving dads and moms. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to write about BookSwim until now. [Disclosure: I did not receive any books, membership, or compensation for writing this review.]

What is BookSwim?
BookSwim is an online book rental library service for dads and moms. They are like Netflix, but instead of movies, they rent hardcovers, paperbacks, and college textbooks. According to BookSwim, they stock all the latest bestsellers, new releases, and classics. Like Netflix, books are delivered directly to your home and you can keep the books as long as you want (no late fees).

How much does BookSwim cost?
BookSwim offers five rental plans for moms and dads. Their cheapest plan is $10 a month, but you have to pay for shipping ($4 per book). The best plan costs $60 a month and shipping is free.

  • 1 Book a Month
    Read 1 book a month
    $9.99/month plus $3.99 shipping
  • Light Reader
    Read 3 books at a time
    $23.95/month (free shipping)
  • Casual Reader
    Read 5 books at a time
    $29.95/month (free shipping)
  • Avid Reader
    Read 7 books at a time
    $35.95/month (free shipping)
  • Devout Reader
    Read 11 books at a time

BookSwim Pros

  • Books are mailed directly to your house
  • Get most books quicker than the library
  • Saves money if you buy a lot of new hardcover releases each month
  • Better for the environment if you don’t recycle books

BookSwim Cons

  • You can check out books for free at the library
  • You can get new releases the first week at the library if you know the secret to reserving new movies and books at the library
  • Kinda of expensive — $14 to rent one book with the cheapest plan (that’s almost the cost of a $16 hardback at Costco and more expensive than two paperbacks)
  • You can’t keep the books unless you pay extra for them

Why would use their service?
I don’t think BookSwim will appeal to most dads and moms. However, I do think BookSwim is worth looking into if you’re a college student (they rent textbooks now), you don’t have a library nearby, have trouble getting books in a timely manner at your library, or if you buy a lot of books each month.


12 thoughts on “BookSwim – the Netflix of Book Rentals

  1. Pretty good idea! I do enjoy reading, but I would feel very obligated to rush through a book to make it worth my money. I will pass this info on to my friend who has two boys at Ga. Tech! The cost of textbooks is outrageous!

  2. That was going to be my complaint about it too. I could go to half price books and buy a book cheaper than this and then resell it on craigslist thereby effectively paying just a few bucks for each book. I do think it’s a great idea though. They just need to get the price down to make it worth while.

  3. Most people don’t realize that the post office offers really cheap rates for shipping books and DVDs. It is called “media mail.” It takes forever for your books to get to the destination, but it is very inexpensive.

    I like the idea of this service because I really am too lazy to go to my local library. If there was a way to order books online and have them arrive at my door (like Amazon), I would go for it. And as far as cost goes, this is about as much as we pay for a month of Netflix. So if they gave me the option to read as many books as I wanted in a month, I think it would be worth it.

  4. I see that your blog to features reviews, giveaways, and parenting advice that will ruin my kid’s life!

    How about featuring a service that will improve parents’ & kids’ lives: a netflix-style book rental club just for children from BookPig? The service works in much the same way as bookswim but as you may well know, children read a lot more than their parents, so keeping them with a supply of books that they like is pretty expensive.

    BookPig have a plan for 5 books a month (what an avid reader will be reading) for just $11.95 per month – that’s just $2.39 per book! There are no wait lists, no late fees and no hidden charges.

    So now parents can provide their kids with an exciting reading experience for less than 3 tall mocha lattes a month!

    Help kids read more with BookPig :@)

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