Suspend Your Disbelief

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BookPig rents books, Netflix-style

Netflix revolutionized the movie-rental industry when it launched, allowing subscribers to have movies sent to their homes and keep them as long as they wanted, all for a monthly fee. (Okay, until recently.) The site BookPig aims to do the same for children’s books, which are (1) expensive and (2) quickly outgrown. Says the site:

When you are ready for more books, just return the first set in the pre-paid mailer provided and we’ll “swap” them for the next set of books from your queue! For faster turnaround, we recommend that you log in and use the “Instant Return” feature to let us know what books you have sent back (or are about to) – and we will pre-ship your next set of books. When we ship your next set of books, we will send you an email letting you know what books are on the way.

For a more personalized service, give us feedback as to what books your kids liked/disliked and whether they were too hard, too easy, or just right. Over time, we will learn the reading level and preferences of your children and be able to help them find books they’ll love. We offer two options for feedback – online or via stickers that younger readers can be put right on the book.

The company offers three plans—”casual” reader (2-5 books per month), “active” reader (6-15 books per month), and “avid” reader (consistently reading 16+ books per month).

Would you subscribe your kid to a service like this? Does a program like this hurt publishers by keeping parents from buying books? Does a program like this help kids by giving them access to many more books than they might otherwise be able to afford? (The answers might be yes, and yes, but tell us what you think in the comments…)

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