Back around the turn of the century, I was a member of the Quality Paperback Club. It was like the Columbia Record Club, only less intense. I could accept/reject the monthly selections and then add/replace with my own choices. As a young responsible working woman, I was good about managing my account, especially once you could do it online, and don't recall being stuck with any selections without my consent.
In fact, in perhaps the greatest box of books ever conceived, I ended up with Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary, a forever favorite of mine, and Nick Hornby's About a Boy. I had read High Fidelity only months previous, thanks to the recommendation of my cool, hip, San Fran dwelling college roommate and was eagerly awaiting About a Boy, which I ultimately adored. I have since read pretty much every word published by Fielding and Hornby.
Yes, I know some of my QPB books have since been placed in donation boxes, but I can look on my shelves right now and see some books from those days: Joyce Carol Oates' We Were the Mulvaneys, Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace, anthologies of Dr. Suess and Winnie the Pooh for the children who were not even a glimmer in my eye at the turn of the century, and Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible (one of those books I still haven't read, but totally mean to). I can remember the papers graded, lessons planned, and small stuff sweated in those days to earn the paycheck that paid for extravagances like a QPB membership.
A couple of months ago, I got to wondering what had happened to the old QPB. The web address directed me a new site, literaryguild.com. Similar concept to QPB. You can buy two credits each month that are good for books. If you make a choice from featured selections, you can then bundle some additional selections at reduced prices. Free shipping if you purchase two books. If you choose at least one featured selection, chances are you can end up with 2-3 hardcovers for about $11-12 a piece. Cheaper than Amazon and your bookstores, more expensive than the library.
I'm still testing it all out, so this is not really a sales pitch or endorsement (though, I've been pleased so far), just sharing in case anyone has a few dollars to spare and gets a thrill out of receiving brand new books on their doorstep.
Here's the box I received about six weeks ago ...
Do I regret my first Literary Guild box? Not really. Both books are new releases I would have made an effort to read (via audible.com credit, library hold, eventual ebook deal, etc.).
I made some June selections for Literary Guild last week. I'll post a pic of the box when it arrives.