Book of the Month Club May 2016 Unboxing

I received a free 3-month subscription in order to review Book of the Month Club. This post contains affiliate links.

BOTMC May 2016

Oh the joys of receiving books in the mail! There aren’t any bookstores close enough for me to make a spontaneous visit, so I depend on the web and my library for my reading material.

It’s been a while since I’ve looked at Book of the Month (BOTM). I’m glad to see it’s still around and was glad to try out their new subscription box. I mean, BOTM was the OG of book subscription services! Instead of receiving a flyer in the mail with only 2 book choices, now BOTM has something for everyone.

How Book of the Month club works

BOTMC Screenshot May Books

Each month there are 5 newly released (or soon to be released) books to choose from. BOTM invites famous authors and celebrities to become Judges as a way of curating each month’s selections. May Judges were Josh Radnor, Alexander Chee, Nina Sankovitch, Leigh Haber, and Liberty Hardy.  The selections span a wide range of genres. Click on each title to learn why the Judge chose it and read more about the book.

Once you’ve enrolled (more about pricing later), BOTM sends a reminder email to choose this month’s selection. Current subscribers have until the 6th of the month to choose their book or skip a month (without penalty). Boxes ship on the 7th.

I joined late, around May 10th and was given until the 14th to choose my book. Being the impatient book reader I am, I chose my book as soon as I signed up. BOTMC still sent me a reminder email, which I appreciated.

When you choose your book, you can add up to 2 other books (from previous months, I assume) for only $9.99 each. Not a bad price for hardcovers. Shipping is still free.

The hardest part: waiting for your book to arrive.

Book of the Month Pricing

Book of the Month currently has 3 plans to choose from:

  • 1-month plan = $16.99 per month
  • 3-month plan = $14.99 per book, or $44.97
  • 12-month plan = $11.99 per book, or $143.88

Shipping is included in your monthly fee. Obviously the 12-month plan offers more bang for your buck. You can skip a month without penalty and your subscription expiration date will be extended a month.

Just a note that membership plans will automatically renew at the end of your term unless you cancel. BOTM sends you a reminder email. You’ll have to call to cancel.

Unboxing My May Book of the Month

My box arrived over the weekend, but I waited (impatiently) until today to take photos as I unboxed it. The things I do for my readers! My May book arrived in a fairly plain brown box, with “Book of the Month” printed on it. I like that it wasn’t flashy because the kids would have stolen it from me!

BOTMC May 2016 first look

Inside, there’s a fun pop of color. Let’s be honest. The packaging matters for subscription boxes. Part of the excitement is unboxing your shipment. The first thing I see is a bright red ring pop and a shrink wrapped package. Yay, more things to unwrap! It’s like my birthday came early!

Along with the inserts and a bookmark, my book was shrink wrapped onto a larger piece of cardboard. I had my box cutter, but the plastic might be harder to open if you don’t have a sharp object nearby. As someone who’s a bit type-A about how my books look, I appreciated the shrink wrap. The book looked brand new, with no dented corners due to bumps during shipping.

BOTMC May Box Contents

I had a tough time deciding which book I wanted, but settled on The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan. It fits into our Diversity Reading Challenge. Along with the book were a note from Judge Alexander Chee, a very nice stiff BOTM bookmark, and a postcard announcing a contest that involves the Ring Pop.

Book of the Month Alexander Chee closeup

I’m not sure what I expect from my first Book of the Month package, but I’m pleased with it. I wished my note from the Judge was something new, instead of paraphrasing what Chee wrote on the BOTM website. That’s just me being overly nerdy and nitpicky.

Final Thoughts

Book of the Month is a good way to learn about new to you books and authors. I’m not sure I would have found The Association of Small Bombs on my own. Maybe eventually, but not so close to its publication date. Of course there’s more popular books like Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible and suspense thriller Let You Go. There’s definitely something every interest.

It’s also a low investment for the thrill of receiving a new book in the mail and the hours of reading entertainment otherwise.

I’m looking forward to learning about next June’s selections.

Which May book would you have chosen?


  1. May 24, 2016
  2. May 24, 2016
  3. May 27, 2016