Friday, March 2, 2007

Hmm... Netflix for books

Library Stuff has a posting on a new service set to start this month that promises to be a Netflix-like service offering book rentals.

BookSwim intends to launch this month, offering three books at a time for $15 a month with free shipping.

The company, which is still soliciting investors on its site, is also looking to the library market:

W h a t A b o u t L i b r a r i e s ?
We love the library and have NO INTENTION of replacing your local public library system. In fact, we'd like to help out libraries by extending our books to library patrons, effectively supplementing limited inventory resources. If you represent a library, email us to discuss our services...
Of course, its a bit soon to tell if this will fly, but in looking at the haves vs. the have-nots in our customer base, this could be one more reason for those who can afford such things to (wrongly!) proclaim us obsolete.

I remember when our system offered books by mail to rural residents, and I remember when they phased it out as a marginal service because people preferred to come to the library. But that was pre-Netflix & Amazon: everything old is new again.

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