It’s been little over a month, since I first signed up for FriendsofBooks library service and I think a short term review is in order.
First of all, a little introduction about FriendsofBooks, it’s an online library service, which delivers your chosen books to your doorstep and then picks them up and gives you next set of books, once you are done reading the previous lot.
For a lazy person like me, it’s really a boon, as I don’t have to bother with the task of going to a physical library and scour through books over there. Which is just as well, since there aren’t any good libraries near my home and I would have to travel anywhere from 8-15km to get the books I want to read.
Although I was a bit apprehensive about the service at first, since I hadn’t heard about it earlier and didn’t know anyone who was using it. However, seeing that they were using a decent enough payment gateway, I decided to bite the bullet and order their highest plan, Super for a month.
Super plan from FriendsofBooks costs Rs. 600 per month + Rs. 750 as refundable security deposit. For this price, you get up to 12 books home delivered each month, usually in a lot of 4 each, even though their site states that each time only 2 books will be sent, which I guess is only applicable for smaller plans.
It is quite another thing that last month we got 14 books to read, but then again, one of them was a book which we hadn’t ordered and we only reordered, a day or two after renewing the plan.
Delivery of the books is pretty fast, usually if you order on a weekday (before 2pm), you get the books next day in morning or in case of late delivery, a day after the order had been placed (at least in Delhi).
Collection of books is also pretty decent, at least as per my taste and the only one which I wanted to read and wasn’t available with them is “Kargil: From Surprise to Victory by General V.P. Malik” (Ex-Indian Army Chief).
Books too are usually in decent condition and a few were even brand new! Only twice did we get books which were in slightly bad condition (one had page detached from the book but still there and another had a page missing (nothing important), torn by some imbecile).
So overall I feel it is a good service and well worth the money we are paying them, at the moment and hopefully this would remain to be the case, for a long time to come.
Oh yes, FriendsofBooks also have an affiliate system, where if you recommend your friends/acquaintances to them and they enter your email address in “Referred By field“ while signing up, you will get Rs. 100 as referral bonus, which will be applied against your next bill (my email id Is [email protected] :D).
Personally I would have liked to see a better cookie based affiliate system in place as that would have ensured that you are able to get commission for all the people you would have recommended. However, that doesn’t really matters, as at least I am already getting my money’s worth at the moment and any affiliate commission would just be icing on the cake, I am already enjoying.