For the ‘green’ person in me, the thought of being able to recycle paperback and audiobooks seems like a great idea; especially since the whole bookshelf situation isn’t exactly allowing for much space. I’m not sure about you, but often I find our local library can’t carry everything I’m interested in. The online website Booksfree offers a solution, paperback and audiobook rentals. Now I’ve mentioned audiobook rentals before but I’ve never seen paperback rentals through the internet.
Booksfree has been supplying book rentals to readers in the United States since 2000. They have 140,000 titles (120,000 books and 20,000 audiobooks) to choose from; with a selection ranging from classics to new releases. When you register you are encouraged to search through their database of eligible books and create a list of books you would like to read. Depending on the membership plan you choose, you will be sent a certain amount of books at a time (anywhere from 2 to 15).
When you return the books you have read Booksfree will automatically send you a selection of replacements from the list you created. Membership prices range from $9.99 – $47.99 and the shipping is free both ways (they provide prepaid shipping for the return mailings). If you decide you like a book and want to keep it then you can purchase it at a discount. For those who like more control over which books are sent when, they have a “A La Carte” section but it costs a bit more.
Two added features I have not seen elsewhere: If you have a lot of quality books at home that are taking up space on your bookshelves you can donate them to Booksfree for a $1 credit each to be used toward further rentals. The second is in regard to their audiobooks. If an audiobook selection is made up of more than one disc, they will send you all the discs as one selection. You might think that is a given but I’ll use my movie rental place as an example — each DVD is counted as a selection so if the special features is on a second disc I often lose out. Who wants to give up a rental for a disc on the special features?
This looks like a promising rental option for readers who want in home service. I could see how it would be an advantage for the busy reader. Let me know if you try it out.
This piece originally appeared on 8/25/2008 at Literary Fiction, BellaOnline.