More than 2 million new book titles are published every year worldwide – perhaps a few too many for most of us. The internet tries to navigate us through this jungle with algorithm-based recommendations. It suggests books to you based on what you’ve already purchased or according to the principle “those who bought this also bought that”. 8 BOOKS A YEAR is different: it’s a curated book subscription for people who like to surprise and to inspire themselves – through books which they might not have otherwise discovered.

Why 8?

Good question. 10 somehow seemed too many for us and 5 too few. So 8. That makes 2 per season. We like that.

Who is behind it?

8 BOOKS A YEAR is operated by Schwarm Szmania. The person behind 8 BOOKS A YEAR and responsible for the selecting of books is Christian Kaspar Schwarm, a life-long book addict and passionate art collector who lives in Berlin and runs a strategy consultancy. Christian, now 44, is also co-founder of an agency called Dorten as well as of Independent Collectors, a global platform for art collectors. His library contains several thousand non-fiction books and contemporary historical documents from the most diverse backgrounds and disciplines. He constantly discovers and purchases outstandingly relevant, beautiful, surprising books through his travels, his research and his passion for contemporary art – on average more than 1 book per day. As more and more friends began to ask for recommendations, it occurred to Christian to share his discoveries with them through a subscription. He writes a text introducing each book to our subscribers as he would to a dear friend.

How does it work?

You can subscribe anytime. After you have sent us your contact details through our request subscription form, we’ll send you an invoice. Once we have received your payment, the subscription starts: You’ll get the next 8 books selected and the surprise that comes with them for a whole year. There’s absolutely no automatic renewal of your subscription. Instead, we’ll send you an optional renewal for continuing your subscription in time to continue without interruption – if you pay it, it goes on seamlessly; if you don’t, it simply stops after the 8 books.

What kind of books can I expect?

Actually, we don’t know this yet. We’re going to decide individually from book to book. What we do know is that we’ll only focus on non-fiction books. Apart from this, there are no rules. Occasionally we might choose a book that reacts to current events and issues. For the most part they will be recent publications, but maybe we’ll rediscover an older work which has again become meaningful and relevant for our lives. There will, of course, be text-based books, but also many which work more visually. As you can imagine, we have some preference at 8 BOOKS A YEAR for smaller, independent publishers who often release great titles in small print runs which have a good chance of becoming real collectibles soon. 8 BOOKS A YEAR is an international concept, so a majority of the books will be in English or will offer an English translation. There can be exceptions, of course: for instance a book which we regard as important for reasons other than being readable in English.

How much is 8 BOOKS A YEAR?

Subscribers with a shipping address in Germany pay 375 Euros (incl. VAT). Subscribers with an EU shipping address pay 375 Euros plus a shipping fee of 70 Euros (incl. VAT). Subscribers with an European but Non-EU shipping address pay 375 Euros plus a shipping fee of 100 Euros. Subscribers with a shipping address anywhere else pay 375 Euros plus a shipping fee of 250 Euros.

Why do I have to pay up front?

There’s neither a big company nor a huge bookseller behind 8 BOOKS A YEAR. We love clear and slim processes – actually we have to. For each book we choose, we have to order the exact number of copies correlating to the number of confirmed subscribers we have at that point. Confirmed subscribers are simply the ones who have already paid our invoice. We won’t ever send out overdue notices or collections letters to our customers and – as already mentioned – there’ll never be an automatic renewal of your subscription. Let’s keep it simple and fair for all of us.

Can I make 8 BOOKS A YEAR a gift for someone?

Of course. We’d be thrilled to be shared as a gift. In this case, we’ll send you an 8 BOOKS A YEAR gift card with our invoice. Just check this option when you fill out the request subscription form.

What if I don't like one of the books?

An integral part of our approach is to surprise and to confront you with books which you might not have normally bought. As a result, it may be the case that some of our books appeal to you more than others, at least at first sight. 8 BOOKS A YEAR doesn’t work like a conventional online fashion store where you choose first, then most probably return some of the items. If you really don’t like a book we sent to you, we’d actually recommend keeping it anyway in order to have a complete set of 8. Or why not give it away as a gift? If you feel that there is absolutely no way for you to keep a book, please contact us, and we will try to figure out a solution.

What if a book has been damaged through shipping?

You have a statutory legal warranty right. In case a book is damaged through shipping, please send us a photo of both the damaged packaging and of the damaged book. We’ll contact you very soon and we’ll find a solution.

Why should I do it?

Because you love great books as much as we do.

I still have questions? How can I find answers?

You can contact us any time. We’ll get back to you with an answer soon.

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