If you're looking to start or expand a home library or have a passion for specialized books,
you may want to consider joining a book club. Commercial book clubs have been around for many
years, but many have only recently established a Web presence. Online, members can search or
browse a club's complete inventory and place orders with the click of a mouse.
For newcomers, most clubs offer two to six books for a low introductory price, then require that a certain number
of books be purchased at regular club prices within one to two years. Most clubs still send
catalogues and order forms via U.S. mail at least once a month.
If you frequently purchase books related to a specific topic, or you're looking to start a collection of hardcover books, a book
club may be the right avenue. They generally offer 30 to 50% off the publisher's price for books
that are specially printed but equal in quality to the publisher's books. Clubs are also likely to
give more detailed descriptions and reviews of the books they offer, along with special author's
These clubs have been filling home libraries for generations:
Book-of-the-Month Club The Book-of-the-Month Club has been sending books to American homes since 1926. Their inventory includes a few thousand titles, most of which are current and popular. This is a good source for popular fiction and nonfiction, but not the place to look for specialized books or classics. All books are special hardcover editions.
Literary Guild In addition to a wide selection of popular books and categories, Literary Guild members enjoy 50% off publishers' edition prices on every book they buy. Again, this is not the place to start a specialized library, but it is a good source for current hardcover books.
Doubleday Book Clubs With its BooksOnline site, Doubleday corners the market in specialization. The site links to Doubleday's ten larger book clubs, which range from The Military Book Club to the Mystery Guild and Stage & Screen. In addition, BooksOnline links to very specialized professional book clubs, with topics like The Mac Professional's Book Club, the Nurse's Book Society and the Nature Book Club. Both collections of sites provide a well-rounded selection, in-depth reviews and great deals.
Up-and-Comers They may not be as established, but these clubs are making their presence known:
AudioBook Club The Audio Book Club boasts the world's largest collection of audio books. You need to know what you're looking for, because descriptions of books are often sparse. Easy navigation and tens of thousands of titles make this a fun place to shop. Audio samples are available for newer titles.
Prevention Book Club Prevention Magazine offers a book club dedicated to health and well being. Prevention editors choose a selection of books on a variety of topics and present them in a monthly magazine. You can join and order online, but you'll have to wait for the print catalog to view selections.
Loganberry Book Club Loganberry Books, a used and rare bookstore in Cleveland, offers a book club for all reading preferences. You specify the theme or genre and the quality of books desired, and Loganberry will send one each month for a year. What a fun way to start a rare book collection!