Newest Review: ... the books back at long last. The letters from debt collection kept coming and World Books added many late payment charges, every time I c... more
Concise Guide to Worldbooks
Member Name: LAH10
Date: 27/08/01, updated on 27/08/01 (245 review reads)
Advantages: Wide range of books, Handy web site
Disadvantages: Quite pricey, Not much different to any other book club
This summer I've managed to join two bookclubs, World Books (which this review is on) and The Softback Preview.
Now lets face it one book club is essentially the same as the next, whether its the Sci-Fi and Fantasy book club or the History Guild or World Books... all replies go to the same place: Guild House, Farnsby Street, Swindon.
All the reply slips look the same, the books get delivered in exactly the same boxes, with the same labels and although the web sites look different they are essentially exactly the same. Most importantly they all send you an editor choice to be rejected every month grrrr.
But of course none of this has discouraged me from joining two in only a matter of months.
I joined World Books because I really fancied their introductory offer, which was buy 5 books at incredibly low prices, ranging from 50p to £2.50, plus postage and packaging.
They were offering a number of gorgeous books and, well, I couldn't say no.
So for the amazing sum of £13.94 I received the hardback complete Works of A. A. Milne including all the Winne the Pooh and his other stories (I think this might well be the most gorgeous book I own), as well as a hardback complete Chronicles of Narnia, the last two Harry Potters in hardback and the Blackwell Guide to Who's Who in British History.
As for most book clubs you agree to buy five more books in your first year, in return for this deal. You also have the added hassle of trying to remember to say NO!!! to the flipping editors choice, but alas this is the same with all book clubs.
World Books offers a wide selection of all types of
books, whether your interest is history (like myself), fiction, romance, business, biography, health and beauty, religion, railways, art and design, DIY, cooking, gardening, science fiction, erotica or children's books.
Worldbooks also claims that every book is discounted, although even with this claim they can still be quite pricey especially when you include postage and packaging.
The web site is handy as you can cancel the editor’s choice on line, which saves the price of a stamp and you can order on line too. You can even preorder books that aren't in the shops yet.
To use the web site you must sign in with your membership number, name, password and mothers maiden name etc...to make sure no one else can access your account.
The web site is easy to use, even if you are not especially computer literate and everything is easy to find. You can search for what you're after by either author, title or order code and pull down menu allows you to browse categories easily.
Under the 'Contents' header there are links to best sellers, preorders, multimedia, interviews, editor’s choice, latest news and competitions.
There is a wide selection of books on the web site (more so than the monthly club magazines) and if you can't find the book you are looking for, there are web links to bol.com (another online book store) where you can get 10% discount, although buying books from here DOES NOT contribute to your club commitment!
The website is easy to navigate and everything is laid out most helpfully in order to make it as easy as possible for you to spend your hard earned cash.
You can pay online with Mastercard, Visa or Delta, if you can't be bothered to write a cheque this saves time. You can't pay by Switch or Solo which is a pain when you don't own a credit card but as you can pay by cheque or postal order its not really a big deal.
There are online
competitions, including this week a chance to meet Jackie Collins and win some Tomb Raider stuff. I haven't entered any yet but I think I might start - I mean some one had to win!
Another special feature I like about the web site is that you can read excerpts from books before you buy them - just like a regular book shop.
There are lists of most categories to chose from (such as female fiction, non fiction, thriller) and then you just click the link and hey presto. The excerpts are reasonable, as to give you a decent clue to what the books are like.
There are interviews with literally hundreds of different authors including Ian Kershaw, Nick Hornby, June Whitfield, Edwina Currie, Jackie Collins and Richard Layman. This is a nice feature especially if one of your favourite authors comes up.
The World Books web site also contains a latest news section which is really self-explanatory...its contains the latest news, on not just books but all sorts. But by some ingenious ploy every story somehow relates to a book that you can order by clicking the link below. I don't think people all over the world will start tuning into the World Books web site for the latest news just yet.
For those of you not just interested in books there is also a multimedia section including computer games and more computer games. I don't buy that sort of thing at all so I'm not sure how good they are price wise, you are probably better to go down to the high street I would imagine.
On the website you can also edit your account details (a very useful option), check out the status of your orders, see how much you owe them and how many books you have left to buy to fulfil your contract.
There is also a chunky HELP section for anyone who just gets boggled. Now that I've looked at it again, the HELP section is huge and gives explicit details on how to do pretty much everything.
As far as service
goes I have had no problems with World Books. My first two orders arrived promptly and were undamaged. The books were delivered by White Arrow Express and were packaged very well. When you first order you get an extra form which details where you would like deliveries put when you're not home i.e. with a neighbour, in an out house, at the back door etc. I found this very useful as our house is often empty during delivery hours.
If you are not completely satisfied with your books you can return them, as long as you do so within a certain time period and your money will be refunded. As far as I know you can also return the editors choice if you get it by mistake.
There are club magazines that arrive every month packed with offers and all the latest books so even if you don't have access to a computer you won't miss out.
There is also an orderline (an 0870 number) on which you can place an order, obtain account details, make credit card payments, order expensive postage labels for the return of books and here a summary of your account. I've only called this number once and I was on hold so long that I gave up, so I prefer to use the internet site.
In all honesty I don't have any complaints about World Books except that they are a little pricey. I only really joined because of the introductory offer but I have not regretted it.
The books are great quality and they offer a wide range to suit all tastes.