Rent a book?

Two beta sites have come to our attention that allow users, for a fee, to create a list of books they’d like to read, receive the books in the mail, read them and ship them back with free paid postage.  These sites are BookSwim and Paperspine.


BookSwim’s tagline is “Don’t Buy Books, Rent Them!”  Users can search by title, author or ISBN or browse through titles.  BookSwim has 185,000 titles to choose from.  Plans are available for 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11 books at a time starting at $14.99 a month.  The site also has a feature where you can keep a book and pay for it online.  You can browse titles by categories and each item features a link where you can purchase the book from Amazon.  Here is a more detailed explanation of how it works.  And here is a link to their blog.


Paperspine’s tagline is “revolutionizing the way you read books.”  Users can search by title, author or ISBN and also browse.  Paperspine has over 150,000 titles to choose from and has four available plans based on what type of reader you are: Light, Frequent, Avid or a Family.  Prices range from $9.95 to $24.95.  Light and Frequent plans allow two books at a time with the Light plan charging $1.49 for shipping.  The Avid plan allows three books at a time, while the Family plan allows five books at a time.  Here is a more detailed explanation of how Paperspine works.  Here is a link to their blog.


2 Responses to Rent a book?

  1. Harry says:

    Both businesses I predict will fail. Shipping costs will kill any profits they “may” get from the tiny membership who is actually dumb enough to “rent” a book. DOA.

  2. Rob says:

    Ouch, Harry. That’s harsh. I subscribe to BookSwim, and I’m not “dumb enough to ‘rent’ a book.” I’m smart enough to know that it saves me money and time. Bookstores are expensive and my local library is only open at inconvenient hours.

    Thanks for the article, Dalnet. I checked out the other company you mentioned, but they charge for shipping and don’t have hardcovers (i.e. no new releases), so I’ll stick with my BookSwim subscription.

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