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It's a rainy day, and you're drinking a cup of hot chocolate, reading a good book. Does this sound like the perfect way to spend the day? If so, then you might want to consider joining a Book Club.
Book Clubs are a great way to easily keep up with the latest authors and award-winning novels. Yoiu don't have to drive to your local bookstore or do your own research; the best book clubs will present you with fantastic book options that automatically match your tastes and preferences.
Wednesday, June 23rd
Book of the Month Club began in 1926 as a way to generate interest in recent publications. After 90 years, the club launched its online presence in 2016, maintaining its reputation as one of the oldest and largest book clubs to join.
The Book of the Month Club website is user-friendly with endorsement quotes from famous authors such as Ernest Hemingway. We felt as if we could be browsing through a neatly organized library. Subscribers can sign up for three, six, or twelve-month options.
Here is how your subscription works:
Unlike other clubs, Book of the Month boasts the presence of celebrity judges such as David Sedaris and Whoopi Goldberg. The site also offers contests allowing club members the possibility of becoming a guest judge.
Another great feature is that the "Discussion" heading is clearly labeled, so members know where to go to share insights about the latest book they're reading. Book of the Month Club set up the site so you can see what you are paying for, which we found very reassuring.
Overall, this is one the best book clubs we have seen. The website showcases Book of Month's long history and experience with readers. We appreciate that the site offers book choices to its members and that one doesn't have to search too hard to find answers to their questions. Those who are new to book clubs will appreciate Book of the Month Club's transparency.
For all these reasons, Book of the Month Club earns top marks. It is our favorite choice among Book Clubs.
Brilliant Books is a family owned and operated bookstore located in Michigan. Their online presence began as a means to allow patrons the opportunity to support the store during harsh northern winters. According to the site, in time, this service earned the title, "Long Distance, Local Bookstore," offering the same personal shopping experience online as it would be in the physical store.
This company has more than surpassed its goal. On the site, we found a plethora of positive reviews praising this store for its commitment to their customers. There is a dedicated link, allowing you to read all of these reviews on their "Brilliant Books Monthly" page. With a vast inventory and a staff willing to go the extra mile, customers can rest assured they are in good hands.
The site still needs some tweaking. The homepage is a bit overwhelming, but we were very impressed with how Brilliant Books organized its headings. All of their inventory is well catalogued, and we were able to find both literary and non-literary items with ease. The rest of the site has various blurbs and icons, which might not work for an online shopper who doesn't have a lot of time.
However, the most important details such as discounts, answers to common questions, and prices are clear. We appreciate the transparency.
In regards to their monthly book club, they offer a variety of options:
Once you join, the store sends you a preference card, and base all selections on your information. All members receive these additional services:
Overall, this club is a great value for the avid reader. We were impressed by their clear understanding of customer service and how easy it was to find answers to questions. For these reasons, we give this site high marks. Despite its overwhelming look, Brilliant Books is a a great choice for future book club members.
Owl Crate began in November 2014 as a project aimed at encouraging people of all ages to read Young Adult fiction. The genre-specific club officially launched in February 2015 and has been growing ever since.
The site is whimsical, youthful, and edgy. New customers can both read Owl Crate's story and view it in pictures. We appreciated the opportunity to see this team in action. Putting a face to their club creates a more personal connection. Moreover, they have a strong social media presence where customers can see how members discuss the book before subscribing.
According to the site, members receive a "Magical Monthly Read" box containing a hardcover YA novel along with several bookish themed items and a handwritten letter from the author. Creative, and crafty, subscribers can expect to experience happy anticipation each month because they won't know what new items they'll receive.
The site has photos of past boxes including items such as buttons, pins, notebooks, mouse pads, bookmarks, children's board books, and coasters in addition to the novel. There is something fun in receiving a special surprise with one's purchase. Owl Crate includes a card detailing the significance of each book-related item and how it relates to the theme of the box.
The site is very user-friendly, and we found information quickly, echoing its goals by tailoring the look of each page with the feel of the books they promote. The only complaint we have about this company is the price. $29.99 plus tax is a lot to spend each month for the same genre. As fun as the site is, we aren't sure if it's worth the investment. We did not find any literature referencing a return policy or what happens if you aren't satisfied with the book.
We hope they will expand their target market to include more genres. Hopefully, as this company continues to grow, they'll be able to offer lower rates. On the strength of their organization and presentation, we give them high marks.
The Bookish Box supports small business owners by including specialty items with their books. We found some online publications posting mostly positive reviews, most agreeing that this particular book club subscription is a great gift.
Unless otherwise requested, all boxes come with a t-shirt reflecting the book or theme of the month. You can also expect beauty and other novelty items.
Boxes begin to ship on the 10th of each month and usually arrive within five business days. They do ship internationally, and they announce each month's theme on social media. If you have a monthly renewing plan, you need to make changes to your account by the 19th: for example, if you signed up for suspense in February but want historical fiction for March, you need to make the change online before February 19th.
Once a box has shipped, you cannot return it, but you are sent an email with a tracking number so you can anticipate the arrival date. If you are unsatisfied for any reason, the company has a customer service specialist that you can email directly.
Overall, the site has a great literary vibe and radiates a vintage feel with photos of books and old typewriters. Because of the different genres offered and the uniqueness of the t-shirts included in their boxes, we give this company good marks. However, compared with the higher rated companies, we just can't justify spending over $300 for a book subscription, even with a t-shirt.
The Book Drop is the online subscription service from Bethany Beach Books, an independent bookstore located in Delaware. Like other bookstores which offer online monthly subscriptions, customers will enjoy personalized customer service because they will deal with one primary contact.
The site is cute and has a beachy vibe reflecting the name of the store. They offer four monthly subscription packages:
They do offer one, three, and six-month plan options. Boxes begin shipping around the 20th of each month, so while the subscription is renewable, they encourage you to contact them before this date if you want to skip a month or cancel your subscription.
Unfortunately, they do not offer returns if you have prepaid and cancel your subscription before the renewal date. However, once Book Drop fills all of the prepaid orders, you will no longer be charged or receive packages. So it is important that you consider the commitment should you decide to sign up for something other than a month-to-month subscription.
Unlike other online book clubs, Book Drop does ship internationally with varying shipping costs depending on the destination. They charge a flat $3.99 shipping fee for all United States orders.
The Book Drop is not registered with the Better Business Bureau, but we did find mostly positive reviews on other sites. One site, however, noticed that the book selection wasn't always at the promised reading level. Another disappointing fact is that while other book club subscriptions send you a hardcover book, this company sends paperbacks.
Overall, this site's online presence is fun and creative. We appreciate the company's efforts to encourage reading at all levels and ages, along with their positive customer reviews and multiple subscription options.
Book Case Club began as a means to encourage reading among all age groups. Unfortunately, the site does not provide much company history aside from why they do what they do. We did find mostly five-star reviews on other sites, which we found helpful. However, this company is not registered with the Better Business Bureau, so if you're seeking an accredited reputation, you won't find it here.
The club promises, at least according to the website, experienced curators who follow current literary trends in multiple genres. Aside from selecting what genre one wants to read, subscribers have no input into what books are delivered to them each month. For some, this mysterious quality might hold some appeal.
The Book Case Club website is clean and gives a good overview of what their company does. However, we found the lack of company information somewhat unsettling. Some mystery can be fun. But not always. We prefer to know who we're giving our money to each month.
There are three steps to subscribing:
Book Case Club doesn't clarify how the sharing will take place, whether there is an online comment thread or otherwise. We suspect one will have to pay for the service to solve that mystery. Parents might find book/theme selections by age to be useful. For example, there is a kid's reading club and a teen club. For parents who are busy but want to keep up with what their children are reading, these options could be very appealing.
Overall, the strength of the reviews we found, the clean presentation, and the options to select age appropriate material for one's child all add up to a decent rating. Book Case Club has potential, but a bit more transparency would build more trust with new subscribers.
Doubleday Book Club is a division of Bookspan, which means it only offers specific genres. Bookspan boasts over 50 years of book club experience. With a more fine-tuned approach, they offer more club selection than a one-stop shop.
Unfortunately, experience doesn't always equate to better service or value for one's dollar. We found several complaints with the Better Business Bureau, addressing such issues as unauthorized charges and missed shipments. Many reviews were from employees of the company, which did not help to build any credibility despite the number of years Bookspan has been in business.
The Doubleday site is overall neat and organized. But one feels like they are walking into a discount bookstore with photos of book covers filling up most of the pages. Information is readily available, but you have to scroll to the bottom of the home page to find it. Even then, you need to read the fine print.
We got the impression this company had something to hide because even the "articles" of information are long, unscannable paragraphs. We lost our place many times while trying to find answers to our questions.
As a genre-organized book club, Doubleday caters to readers who enjoy authors such as Danielle Steel or Mary Higgins Clark: romances or mysteries with strong women characters and high drama. If this is your taste, then Doubleday might be a good fit.
In regards to membership, the club offers the following benefits:
To join, new customers can click "Join Now". They can also enroll by making their first discounted purchase of 2 books for $9.99 rather than paying full price. Here is what members can expect each month:
Overall, the site could use some reorganization. We appreciate that the information is there, but it takes a while to find answers to questions. If someone is new to the idea of book clubs, they most likely won't think to scroll to the bottom of the home page. The program is confusing, and paragraphs containing information are convoluted. We recommend looking at one of our higher rated book clubs.
However, not all Book Clubs are alike. Here are a few things to consider when choosing your Book Club:
To help you with your book club selection, TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Book Clubs available today. We hope this information will help all book lovers and reading enthusiasts alike choose their next book club!
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