The Netflix of books lands in SA
Bookchoice – the ‘Netflix of books’ – is finally on our shores. Now it’s as easy to get a great book as it is to stream a series. For R50 a month, you can receive a monthly delivery of eight curated ebooks and audiobooks, handpicked by a team of industry experts. The membership based-service will make you feel like you’re part of a real-life book club, exposing you to top local and international authors to fast-track decision-making and add an element of discovery.
We all know that feeling of delight when a parcel arrives. There’s that sense of suspense as you rip the box open to expose the unknown contents inside. Bringing that excitement to the digital sphere is what Bookchoice is all about. Nathan Hull, Chief Commercial and Content Officer at Bookchoice say, “Our mission is to provide a simple, affordable platform and app that helps people fall in love with reading again. We know South Africans are spending more and more time on smartphones. So we make good books just a couple of clicks away. That way, it’s as easy to make reading a daily habit as it is to browse Instagram or watch YouTube.”
The service is currently available in Holland, the UK, Australia and SA. Recognising a gap in the SA market, the Bookchoice team hope to reinforce reading as part of the South African culture by providing a platform that’s accessible and convenient. Currently, SA has what’s been described as a reading crisis. Africa Check cited that the latest studies show only 25% of the adult population regularly read books. The statistics on children are not much better – the 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy (PRILS) found 78% of SA fourth year primary school pupils could not read for meaning.
Bookchoice is also hoping to support the SA book scene by introducing a leading local author on a monthly basis.
“We’re excited to be partnering with SA publishing houses to include a well-known local ebook or audiobook in each month’s book delivery. For Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday in July, we included I Remember Nelson Mandela in our selection. This touching biography is a compilation of insights from those who knew the legend best,” says Hull.
Going forward, top African authors like Kopano Matlwa, Rosamund Kendal and Panashe Chigumadzi will be featured alongside international favourites like Lynda La Plante, Jonas Jonasson and Stuart Macbride.
“It’s very important for us to feature standout local authors. SA is a talent incubator for some of the world’s best – and often most underappreciated – writers. So we hope to help shine a spotlight on the abundant talent emerging in the country and the greater African continent,” Hull continues.
The selection covers a range of genres and titles to suit readers’ different moods and enable them to find new gems. This helps bookworms to break free of a ‘reading rut’ and uncover new favourite authors. Like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Wilbur Smith, Heather Morris, Arundhati Roy, Kazuo Ishiguro and Sebastian Barry – all big names who have been included in the past. Additionally, it takes away the stress of having to pick a book from a shelf of hundreds of titles.
Hull says, “Finding a good book usually takes time. To help people fall back in love with reading, we realised we needed to simplify the process. Our ‘Netflix model for books’ achieves this and it has proven extremely popular. We’re able to provide the latest titles from leading authors for an incredibly affordable price – in SA, only R50 a month. That’s eight premium ebooks and eight audiobooks for the price of a burger!”
So how does Bookchoice work?
You simply pop onto the site, sign up for the service for just R50 a month, and then get all-inclusive access to the selection of the month – eight ebooks and eight audiobooks you can download directly to your phone, Kindle or a wealth of other devices. Once you’ve downloaded the book to your device, it’s yours to keep forever. Users can also download the Bookchoice app for even faster access to their books when they’re on the go.
What books can we expect in August?
Featured local author: Rehana Rossouw: What will people say?
‘An intimate, heartfelt and a carefully observed portrait of life on the Cape Flats during late apartheid’ – Sunday Times
Other authors to look out for:
- Jonas Jonasson: Hitman Anders & The Meaning Of It All: Latest title by the author of The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
- Asia MacKay: Killing It: An acclaimed debut loved by Marian Keyes
- André Aciman: Call Me by Your Name: The book behind the Oscar-nominated film
- Nathan Filer: The Shock of the Fall: Multi-award winner, including Costa Book of the Year
- Brigid Delaney: Wellmania: Humorous take on the quest for wellness
To find out more and join, visit Bookchoice.com.
Get It Joburg West – November 2018