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Likely Stories

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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008 9:51 am
How about a “Netflix for DVDs”? Could that work?
Posted by: Keir Graff

OK, let’s see: there’s booksfree.comBookSwimPaperspine… and the newest “Netflix for Books,” NovelAction.com, which adds, ahem, a novel twist: instead of just sending them money and getting books on loan, you send them money and books. When I was growing up, there was something like that, but I forget what it was called.

Oh, yeah: a “used bookstore.”

Actually, the NovelAction concept, which I have admittedly only skimmed, seems to be that you’re trading books, and they’re making their money off the shipping fees. Given that used bookstores are an endangered species, it seems like an all right idea. But given that planes, trains, and automobiles (well, mostly planes and automobiles, and also ships) are prime culprits in global warming, I sure wish the trend were not toward Netflix models but toward neighborhood bookstores that were within walking distance.

But if you’re really the kind of person who doesn’t need to own books–who doesn’t mind reading something that someone else has read┬ábefore giving it back and getting more used books–there’s a place that doesn’t charge you anything unless you’re deadline-challenged.

Oh, yeah: a “library.”

I hear tell they even have movies, too.


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