The other day that glorious blue box arrived and, while the movie montage was playing of me embracing it, Will said AND I QUOTE, “Okay I’m just going to come out and say it…I don’t get it! WHAT IS BOOK OF THE MONTH anyways?? Couldn’t you just buy this book from the store? You already know what’s in that box anyways.” *record scratch* I was aghast. Absolutely aghast. How could he even question BOTM?? But then I thought, “well *I* really didn’t get it at one point in my life” so maybe others are wondering what it is and if Book of the Month is worth it? So, since I’ve never formally talked about it on here, I’ll give my official Book of the Month review and just talk about it and answer any questions.
I used to be really into other book subscription boxes — you know the ones with all the little fandom related things or bookish merchandise. And a lot of those times, though a couple times I got a book I might not have otherwise picked up and enjoyed, the book itself was something either I already had or I wasn’t interested in at all for various reasons.
And that was always a bummer, honestly. I realized that, when I was spending that much money, I didn’t really enjoy the surprise element of not knowing which book it was because I could have spent that money on a book I ACTUALLY wanted. Not to mention if I even liked the little gifts that came with it.
I came to realize that these type of book subscriptions boxes weren’t for me because 1) I wasn’t always happy with the surprise book element (I think it’s great if you don’t already own a ton of new books) and I was becoming overwhelmed by the little book merchandise things that came with it — so much of it wasn’t something I was REALLY into.
So I cancelled all my book subscriptions and just went about my merry way. Plus I was REALLY cutting down on my book spending.
[Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you click on a link and purchase something I’ve talked about or recommended, I’ll receive a very small percentage of the sale. Please see my disclosure policy for more info.
UNTIL I GIVE BOOK OF THE MONTH A CHANCE….
And to be fair *I* didn’t “get it” right away either — for all the reasons my husband was thinking above. But now I faithfully have my trigger finger ready to refresh the website to get the new BOTM selections each month and am excited to open my box as if it WERE a surprise.
And now here I am with a subscription to both the regular Book of the Month club and the Book of the Month YA (soon to be no longer) and always recommending this as one of the best gifts for book lovers!
My Honest Book Of The Month Club Review
Before we get into my thoughts and experience with Book of the Month club, you might be thinking, “okay what is BOTM even?” so I want to address that first and explain how it works in case you are already lost.
What is Book Of The Month?
Book of the Month is a US-based monthly book subscription club in which you choose from a selection of 5 newly released/soon to be released (hardcover) books handpicked and curated by the Book of the Month judges for you to choose from each month.
There is Book Of The Month (mostly adult fiction and non-fiction picks of all genres) and then the newer offshoot Book Of The Month YA club which features young adult/teen selections (again 5 selections each month). EDIT: It appears that after March 2020 BOTM YA will be no longer and it will be all rolled under the same membership over at the core BOTM site. Will keep y’all updated.
Fun fact I learned about it recently: it was founded in 1926 (and Ernest Hemingway was one of the inaugural authors picked!). I think this is cool that the business model clearly has adapted and shifted into what it has been since it relaunched in this iteration in 2015.
How Does Book Of The Month Work?
Each month you will get a choice of the 5 books on the website for the new month. It gives a “quick take” sentence about the book but if you click on the title of the book it will give you a full synopsis but also some quick little “good to know” bits about the book from it being emotional to any content warnings to knowing that it’s a good book for x, y, z. It also gives the little blurb by the judge who chose it about why they did.
You’ll pick your selection, using your monthly credit, and add it to your box. If you don’t like any that you see and want to save your credit, you can skip that month’s box — no problem! You aren’t charged and that credit will just rollover to the next month. It’s really easy, if you are wondering how to skip Book of the Month, you literally just click the button to skip the month. No hassle, super easy.
If you decided to pick a selection that month you ALSO have the option to pick up to 2 add-on books — previous selections from other months/years and also you can add-on this month’s current pick if you just can’t choose 1 from this month.
Once you finalize your box (if you don’t skip) it’s processed to ship within a few days (at least that has been my experience).
How Much Does Book Of The Month Cost?
So, maybe you are like “okay, Jamie, that sounds fun and all but what’s the cost?”
- The monthly membership cost: your first book for $9.99 and then you pay $14.99 each month after that.
- The yearly membership: you pay $149.99 for 12 credits in your account which makes it end up being $12.50 a book — a good option if you can afford that cost upfront.
- The add-ons, if you want them, are $9.99 each.
There is also a 3, 6, or 12 month gift subscription if you wanted to gift it or put it on YOUR wishlist. Book of the Month is seriously a great gift idea.
What I Like About Book Of The Month
- I’ll be honest — I love the fact that for $14.99 (or $9.99 for the add-on!!) I’m getting a brand new hardcover for WAY cheaper than if I bought it myself from elsewhere. I’m practical if not anything haha
- I like the fun book mail! It’s so nice to get something other than bills and mine always has come very quickly! And, like I said before, it’s nice to be part of a book subscription box that is more minimal and no surprise.
- I love the selections — I’ve got to say I’ve rarely skipped each month because I’m always really into the picks. They curate the selections so well and are really at the pulse of what’s new and fantastic. You also start to learn what judges picks you like and can trust. And as much as I’m always excited that some of my anticipated books are on there I ALSO have discovered some books that weren’t on my radar.
- I love the community of fellow BOTM club subscribers as well all try to decide what our picks are going to be and see what everyone else picks. PLUS when we try to guess the next month’s picks. There’s some communities on FB where you can swap titles with other BOTM members if you aren’t big on keeping books after you read them.
What I Don’t Like About Book Of The Month
- Honestly I don’t LOVE is the Book of the Month logo on the cover. Like it holds no significance for ME personally but they do all look all nice together sitting on your shelf. I just am not all about any sort of “sticker” (sorry Reese that means you too!) that goes on my book but, for me, it’s a small price to pay for a cheaper book.
- They have grown with adding more diversity in their lineup but could use some work still
- I also don’t like that, for my international friends, that it’s US only.
Is Book Of The Month Worth It?
I personally find it worth it for me! I’m not one who buys a ton of new books these days –I love my library and I’m real picky about what I own (AND ALSO BROKE) — but THIS is my treat to myself. I justify it by the fact it’s cheaper too haha.
I think BOTM will be worth it for you if:
- you like the idea of subscription boxes but don’t like surprise books & don’t want all the little book merch that go with other boxes.
- you are so sick of trying to figure out what you want to read/researching new books and just want to narrow down some selections with some vetted & carefully picked books.
- you like to stay up on newer releases and want to save money on some of the newest and hottest releases (seriously it’s several dollars cheaper than most retail places for brand new hardcovers). Some of these books are early releases too — a month before they even get released which is nice!
- you rarely buy books but want to treat yourself once a month (or less if you need with the skip option — you could do like every other).
- if you like staying up on new releases but get sick of always waiting forever for them from the library. This is HUGE for me. I save all the older books I want to read for the library but sometimes I don’t want to wait 6 months so my monthly BOTM helps me tackle some of my most anticipated books while I wait for others.
- you want to get back into reading and this would give you some accountability to do that. Even if you can’t get through one book a month you can skip every other.
- you are a book buying addict and you want to continue that habit (haha kidding….sort of). But at least it’s cheaper right??
If you think it might be for you, check out your first box for only $9.99!
So those are my honest thoughts on this monthly book subscription box — hope you found my Book of the Month review helpful. I love my monthly treat to myself and NOW Will is also educated as to WHY I love getting it and him, being the sensible man he is, likes that I’m getting books for cheaper. Even if he’s probably wondering why I need to buy books at all between all my library books and review copies but shhhh we don’t need to tackle THAT.
Do you have BOTM? Are there any other book subscription books you enjoy getting? Also if you have any questions about BOTM I’m ALWAYS happy to answer.
P.S. Check out my honest thoughts on if Kindle Unlimited is worth it plus a review of LibroFM audiobook service.