From a young age, I have been an avid reader; I pride myself in my third-grade Berenstain Bears library, high school collection of dystopian fiction, and collegiate assortment of French theatre. With new technology, like Nooks, Kindles, and e-books, reading has been more accessible than ever. You almost don’t need books to read!

Despite this common sentiment, many organizations are combating the digitization of information. One such organization is the Book of the Month Club (BOTM). This book club releases their new month’s selections February 1. Much like the trendy monthly box subscriptions for vegan beauty products or boutique snack food, BOTM delivers a book for a reduced fee every month. On the first of each month, BOTM sends members an email with details about the new offerings. From that moment on, club members may pick at least one book of the 5-7 books offered as the monthly selection, paid and delivered for $14.99/book. For those of you used to purchasing expensive textbooks and worried about getting swindled by the next trendy thing, this is still a bargain. I have a BOTM book sitting on my shelf valued at $28.95, and I feel that weird sense of pride that accompanies finding a secret bargain.

For my first box, I explored around all the options of BOTM. I could order the one book, at $14.99, or more books from the archive (at $9.99 each). BOTM also tries to get as many genres in their options as possible; a new historical fiction, contemporary fiction, thriller, and mystery book appears almost every month. For my first box, I went with a trifecta of thriller, true crime, and dystopian fiction composed of Bonfire by Krysten Ritter, Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann, and Sleeping Beauties by Owen and Stephen King.

Built-in to the BOTM subscription is access to the online discussion boards and blog. As a leisure reader, you may miss the deeper connections that book discussions in class yield; look no further than the “Discussions” tab on the BOTM menu! Here, find a virtual book club ready to dissect that one paragraph laden with meaning or argue over the overarching themes. The blog is mainly a fun, quick read with many videos and articles related to the book selection, however, it also houses a few social media competitions with cool prizes.

At this point, you may be super excited to join up! Some other Batesies have actually done so; Sarah Keith ’18 said, “I joined because I love reading but I wasn’t reading enough and wasn’t getting a good selection. And the low prices really attracted me, so I joined!” Halley Posner ’18 added that, “this program seems like a great idea because it makes books cheaper and therefore affordable. So it puts books in more hands!” Clearly, BOTM is a great option for Batesies who want an affordable, easy service to provide them with critically acclaimed reads and fresh takes on various tried-and-true genres.

When my books arrived, I was delighted by their glossy covers, lush photography, and rave reviews from major publications, however, I was let down by one thing: my Bates student schedule. Though I hardly have the time to read my emails, let alone leisure books, I am still excited about the books BOTM brings into my life. As my mom always says, you can never read too much!