I am sure you have heard of, if not used Netflix for renting movies online if you live in the United States. The most attractive thing that made Netflix popular was the fact that you can keep a movie as long as you want without paying late fees. In fact, the sooner you send it the better value you get from your subscription.
PaperSpine.com has brought that wildly popular idea to books. I am not sure if they are the first one to try it but this is the first time I have heard of such a service for books. That probably says something about me.
PaperSpine (beta) is an online subscription-based book renting service. You subscribe to a plan and start renting books without incurring late fees.
PaperSpine Quick Facts
- Pick out the books you want to read and prioritize your queue
- You will receive books in your queue based on availability
- You can receive 2, 3 or 5 books at a time depending on your subscription plan
- After you have read the book, return it in the pre-paid mail bag.
- Paperspine (beta) is open for registration and you need a credit card to join
- Currently over 150,000 titles in stock and will improve over time
- Find books by author, title, keyword or ISBN number
- Different categories, genres and picks also help you find a book you like.
Should I use it?
Personally, I have not found the time to read books lately and one of the main reasons is I spend way too much time on the Internet, blogging or not. But, if I were to find that extra time to sit down by the fireplace with a paperback with cup of hot cocoa, I would absolutely subscribe to PaperSpine. One could argue that you get the same stuff from your local library for free. The convenience of receiving books in your mailbox will absolutely be attractive to a lot of people including myself.
I see a great future for PaperSpine as they build their infrastructure and address similar roadblocks faced by Netflix when they started out like minimizing turnaround times, having enough popular books in stock so people don’t wait forever to get a New Bestseller, etc. With movies, people could watch in a matter of hours and send it back. But, a book will take much longer for a reader to finish and send it back. It will be interesting to hear how PaperSpine plans to address that.
Can Netflix Jump In?
Netflix has already mastered the delivery system and already has the infrastructure. What if they started offering books as well as a part of their subscription model?
West Coast = Fast Delivery?
Right now, they have listed their contact address in Washington (the state) and my guess is that people in the West Coast or neighboring states are going to be happy campers to start with. Assuming their warehouse is listed close to the listed address.
I want to hear what you think of this service? Would you rather skip your local library or even purchasing books for a service such as this one? Also, what kind of turnaround time will be ok with you? 3 days? 5 days? 7 days?