Wanted: A Netflix for physical books

The tech rumor mill has been churning for a few days about "Amazon launching a Netflix for books". While a neat concept, it is for Kindle books only. This plays to Amazon's strengths, but is not what I have been wanting for years.

For years I have been wishing for a "Netflix for Books", for physical books.

Here is how I envision it working:

A large municipal library, or a consortium of them working together, set up a site and paid service very similar to Netflix, only for books.

I, as a user, select how many books at a time I want to rent. There would be different monthly payment levels, just like Netflix.

Books in my queue get checked out from the library or via inter library loan. They get mailed to me, along with a return mailer. Postage would be USPS Book Rate, of course. Unless I am willing to pay extra for Priority or Express mail.

I read the book, keep it for as long as I want (maybe with a one year maximum), and then either return it with the return mailer or by dropping it off at the library like a regular book.

I could keep using my muni library "for free", or use this service for the convenience factor. It could even be a source of much needed funding for the amazing public library system that we all too often take for granted, and do not use enough.

I want this.

1 comment:

  1. www.paperbackswap.com -- I've been using it for years. It's not quite the same thing, but it works somewhat similarly -- you can have a queue of books, each book is 1 credit, you get a credit for sending one of your books out. I believe you can also buy credits.

    You can have a wishlist, too. If, like me, you don't buy credits (I have enough from sending books out), all you pay for is shipping your books out. You can keep the book or easily post it for someone else to claim.

    Also note that USPS doesn't have a 'book rate'. They used to have 'library rate' which is now called 'media mail' and can be used for books, CD's and DVD's, or any combination thereof. Might be useful if you're mailing out CD's or DVD's and didn't know about it.