Book Club Guru is a monthly book subscription that chooses books for you!
Well, it’s not exactly that simple, but if you’re someone who loves to read but doesn’t have the time or inclination to spend hours browsing shop shelves, this is a great way to get your book fix.
It’s quite simple to set up. (Pictures are of my computer screen, so they look a bit odd!)
Once you’ve signed up and logged in, you are directed to set up your ‘favourite books’ list. The minimum you can input is three, but you have the option to add as many as you like.
Your choices can be as narrow or as wide as you like, but the suggestions that are generated will be based on your favourites. So if, for example, you’re a huge fan of scandi noir, put in a few you like and you’ll get a list of similar titles.
If you enjoy a wide variety of books, make your choices as varied as you like.
I like lots of different books, so my choices are quite diverse.
The you wait for a little while as the computer has a think, then it will produce a list of books it thinks you will like.
You can switch this list around. Books are sent out from the top of the list, however you can change around the choices as you like by simply dragging them. So if there’s one further down you’d like to read first, drag it to the top. Or if there’s one you really don’t fancy, delete it.
Once my list was set, my book was despatched. It was mailed over a weekend so took and extra days, but your book should be with you in a couple of days.
Books being bendable, it arrived in a slightly utilitarian cardboard envelope.
But inside was a lovely card envelope.
It looks very attractive, and can be kept and reused as giftwrap. Bonus!
And so here is my book, brand new! This had actually been second on my Dispatch list, but having read shamefully little of Somerset Maugham I decided it would be a good choice to begin with.
So, how well does it work? I think very well indeed. Anyone who uses Amazon is familiar with the algorithm that suggests books according to what you’ve been searching for. I don’t know about you, but given that I look loads of things up on Amazon, including books gifts as well as myself, not to mention research or just idle curiosity, the suggestions that Amazon comes up with are generally completely random. It’s sheer chance if a suggestion comes up that actually dovetails with your taste.
This service takes as its models specific books that you’ve chosen for yourself. Books that you know you like. So when it makes its suggestions, there’s an excellent chance you’ll like the books it’s chosen for you!
I was surprised but quite impressed to see on my dispatch list a couple of books that I had already read, which were not by the same authors as my favourites but were nevertheless related. So it looks to me like the algorithm works rather well.
You can subscribe for one, two, or three books a month, depending on how much you read, and subscriptions are 3, 6, or 12 months. You can also gift a subscription.
Impressively, they also have children’s books, and a book-a-month subscription would be a splendid present for a child.
Unlike other book subscriptions, this service is tailored to your own personal taste. While this isn’t the cheapest way of buying books, it is very convenient, and you’ll never feel overwhelmed by the sheer selection on offer. You will be getting a book that you’ll actually enjoy!