The Silliest Idea for a Business I’ve Ever Seen

April 18, 2009

I haven’t been blogging much since I became active on Facebook.  Facebook is quicker and easier… and it has a highly addictive word game called Pathwords.  I really like Facebook, but one of the aspects of it that I don’t like is its pervasive advertising.  So, as a rule, I try to ignore the ads and never ever click on them.

However, this morning an ad titled “Netflix for Books” caught my eye and, intrigued, I clicked.  I was redirected to Booksfree.com which is indeed a Netflix-like service that deals with paperback books instead of DVDs.  Subscribers pay $9.99 a month and in return they receive books by mail, which they can keep as long as they want.  No late fees.

Have these people not heard of a little thing called the public library??  And sure, libraries have due dates, but most of the time you can renew with no penalties if you need extra time to finish reading it.  And let’s not forget that these are paperback books, and the charge is $9.99 a month.  If you need more time than your library will give you, the chances are good that you could buy the book for the same amount (or less) than you could rent it at Books Free.

They also offer audio books which would be a great deal if they kept the price at $9.99.. but they don’t.  They charge $22.49 a month for audio books, so all of the above arguments still apply.

Astonishingly, Books Free claims to have been in business since 2000.  How is that even possible?


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