Bay Area indy bookstore owner fends off new Amazon Prime subscription service

- Tech giant Amazon Tuesday announced its launching a new children's book subscription service for Prime Members.

Megan Berger, who gave birth to her second child three weeks ago, says she and her husband Michael would consider using it.

"We like to buy books and own them because the kids ruin them," said Megan Berger.

"The books we have we read a lot. We read them over and over and over again," said Michael Berger.

Tuesday, Amazon announced the new subscription service for Prime members called "Prime Book Box."

For $23 a month, the company will send subscribers either two hard cover books or four board books, hand-picked, based on the child's age up to 12-years-old.

Bay Area bookstore owner Lauren Savage said she was initially saddened by the announcement.

"But at the same time they can't do what we do. We're personalized," said Savage.

Savage owns The Reading Bug bookstore in San Carlos.

Two years ago, she started a similar service called "Reading Bug Box" to compete with other emerging book subscription services.

"It's definitely important for survival. It is definitely one of the things that is keeping our store there for sure," said Savage.

Savage says her program has more than 1,000 subscribers in all 50 states. 

She thinks the personalization of her store's book box will differentiate it from Amazon's new service.

Some parents told us they still prefer picking out their children's books at a store or the good old-fashioned library.

"I feel like I'm really honing in on what my individual children's interest align with the books I select. So with the boxes it feels like it could be a little hit or miss," said mother Lisha Davidovits.

The Reading Bug bookstore doesn't plan to change anything because of the Amazon announcement. 

The owner will continue what she calls a David and Goliath competition, one box at a time. 
 

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