That’s the concept behind a brand new company lauched yesterday, America’s Book Shelf. ABS borrows a page from Netflix and Blockbuster, and provides a product service system model for readers. What’s even cooler (and greener) is that most of the books come from members themselves: you list books you’re willing to share on the website, and when someone requests one of them, ABS sends you a postage-paid envelope to mail it off. As a member, you can then request books from other members, keep it as long as you like, and check it in online when you’re done with it. When someone else wants it, another postage-paid envelope comes your way.
ABS co-owner (with his wife) Bill Denkler also told me a bit more about the company’s green business activities:
For every 65 books shared through AmericasBookShelf.com we can help save one tree from the pulp and paper mills. We purchase green tags from NativeEnergy.com to help lessen our environmental foot print, and we also purchase all recycled office supplies as we have available. We sent in our membership application and dues with Co-opAmerica.org.
As a celebration of their lauch, ABS is offering free one-year memberships to the first 10,000 people who sign up — you only pay for your book credits (1 credit = one book requested). I think this is a really cool concept, and will have to get my membership in quickly…