There has been so much interest in the subscription I’ve taken up with Heywood Hill that I thought you might enjoy hearing about another scheme which I came across last week. When I received the most recent newsletter from Fidra Press it included reference to a new venture being set up by the people who run the publishing company. I have to admit that although I get their newsletter I haven’t really had much to do with Fidra, so I’m a bit behind the curve in relation to their back history, but from what I can gather they have recently given up running a bookshop but have instead instigated a monthly subscription service that runs in pretty much the same way that the one from Heywood Hill does. The main difference, and the point that made me think it might appeal to those of you who may balk at signing up for a whole year (not to mention paying for a whole year) is that you can choose to subscribe for as short a period as three months. This would certainly allow you to sample the service without having committed yourself to either major expenditure or too much in the way of disappointment if the selections you receive aren’t appropriate. They also offer an interestingly wide range of categories including contemporary fiction, classics, crime fiction, food, and a number of different subscriptions aimed at children.
However, unlike Heywood Hill their selections are not truly individualised. From what I can gather, every month they intend to select a number of books in each category and then send you the one that they think will be most suitable. You get the opportunity to send them information that will narrow down the possibility of receiving something totally inappropriate but as they aren’t going to have the same range of titles to choose from the fit is going to be best available rather than truly bespoke. If you like, a good off the peg volume as opposed to hand measured and made.
Nevertheless, this is clearly better than simply receiving the book of the month regardless of your personal taste, so if you’d like to follow up their service you can find more details at The Glenogle & Bell Book Company and you can sign up there as well. I’d be really interested to know if any of you do take out a subscription and it would be fascinating to compare the books that we receive and swap notes about how satisfied we are with the selections made for us.