Remember Book of the Month Club?

Before there were subscription boxes, there was Book of the Month Club—and now it's back with a new approach.

Photo courtesy of Book of the Month.

There isn’t much you can’t get from a subscription box these days. From makeup and clothing to pre-portioned meals and wine, there’s a flurry of subscription boxes waiting to be shipped to your door.

I’ve tried several, and have found success in services like Stitch Fix and Blue Apron, as well as my favorite monthly subscription box of the moment, Book of the Month.

Founded in 1926 in New York City as a mail-order business, Book of the Month has a long history of getting great books into readers’ hands. Selections have included big-name books like Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, By the Rivers of Babylon by Nelson De Mille, The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, and others. In late 2015, Book of the Month (BOTM) re-launched with its current online subscription-based service, headed by editorial director Maris Kreizman.

Here’s how it works: On the first of every month, BOTM offers a selection of five new hardcover books, picked by a panel of judges made up of writers, editors, bloggers and reviewers. You have until the sixth of the month to choose which book (or books) you’d like to receive, and your pick gets shipped on the seventh. Not interested in any of the choices? No problem. Just skip the month and save your credit for the next round.

May book selections

Photo courtesy of Book of the Month.

I’ve been a BOTM subscriber for three months now, and have been consistently impressed by the diversity of books and authors included each month. My first box included Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, an engrossing novel about refugees fleeing their war-torn homeland. I devoured it in one weekend.

Sometimes BOTM will even send books before you can purchase them anywhere else, which is how I got my hands on Scaachi Koul’s hilarious yet horrifying debut collection of essays, One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, about growing up as the daughter of Indian immigrants in Canada.

For me, Book of the Month has been a valuable way to find interesting works—which range in style and genre, including novels, essay collections, memoirs and more—and authors that I might not have otherwise heard about. It’s also a great way to save a few bucks on a newly released book; BOTM offers hardcovers at prices lower than what you’ll pay at most bookstores, even on Amazon.

Book of the Month subscription plans include three months for $14.99/month, six months for $13.99/month or one year for $11.99/month. Special offers for new members include one-, two-, and three-month subscriptions for $10/month. All prices include the cost of your book and free shipping.

It’s not too late to sign up for this month. New members have until the 14th to be included in May’s selections: The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich; Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane; The Leavers by Lisa Ko; Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood; and Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki.

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