A Gentler Path Into Subscription Reading

100345897916916239_K9VLdzu9_fThere 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.

12 thoughts on “A Gentler Path Into Subscription Reading

  1. All these various book subscription services are wonderful. I have loved my year of New York Review of Books Classics. It’s really a lot of fun and a great way to discover new authors and break out of one’s usual reading choices.

    1. I noticed on another blog that it is time to think about renewing that particular subscription. Are you going to sign up for another year?

  2. Hmm… I think I’ll hold off and wait to see what you think of the bespoke service. Not that a new way to get more books should really be top of my priority list anyway! 😉

    1. I know just what you mean! Every time I see a new subscription I want to sign up just for the pure pleasure of having books arrive at the house, but I always seem to forget that I also have to then find time to read them all.

  3. I almost wish I hadn’t read your post because now I have gone into the ” shall I/ better not/but it sounds so good” cycle. Oh dear. I like the idea that it might introduce me to new authors but will I ever get the time to read them.

    1. That’s the cycle I went through when I first encountered the Heywood Hill site, Karen. And my big worry is that I may not find the time to read everything that comes through. I’m going to spend some time this Christmas thinking about how I use my time because I know that there are great chunks of wasted space that could be better used for reading purposes.

  4. There seems to be a number of interesting book services on offer at the moment. I rather like the look of the bibliotherapy service offered by the authors of The Novel Cure. The book is excellent, and no doubt a cheaper option. And my local bookshop offers a ‘reading spa’, a consultation which includes tea and cake.

    1. I’ve looked at ‘The Novel Cure’ Susan but it’s too general for me. However, I like the sound of your local bookshop. But then I like the sound of anything that includes tea and cake.

  5. I’ve just realized that our local mystery book shop offers a subscription service – as a gift, though I suppose one could “gift” oneself. It’s advertised as extremely flexible (monthly, quarterly, etc), and they suggest a range of genres (cosy/debut/classic). The only catch is that I’ve already bought so many books from them – I might have to give them a list of what I already have!

  6. Interesting variation on the book subscription idea. I like the possibility of signing up for only three months at a time. You can end it before too long if the books aren’t working out for you, or you can take breaks when needed in order to catch up on all that reading. I like it!

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