I’ve never been a big movie buyer, and I own a whopping three DVDs. If I can’t guarantee I’m going to watch it at least five times, I don’t want it cluttering my abode. But I do like movies, and so I opt for rentals. And there are more rental options out there now than ever before. Plenty of ways to add another bill to my monthly deluge.
I hear Netflix is pretty good, as long as you properly estimate how many movies you’ll need at one time. And my mailbox is constantly bombarded by ads for Blockbuster’s similar offering. There’s also the downloading option, from iTunes and the like.
But to me, nothing compares to my local public library.
In the very minimal off-time I’ve had lately, we’ve been chilling out with free movies, everything from foreign films to more recent hits like Babel, I Heart Huckabees, City of God, and The Corpse Bride. They even have HBO’s wonderful Rome series, which retails for $71.49 for the complete series on Amazon. And that’s the discounted price.
They don’t have every movie I’ve wanted to see, but there’s a very nice selection, I can take out as many at a time as I like, and keep them for a whole week without cost. I can renew them, too.
I keep a list of movies I’d like to see on my desktop, then go online every so often and request a couple via interlibrary loan. When they’re in, I get a call and go pick them up.
I’m lazy that way–it’s been months since I searched the shelves for anything. I do the same thing with books, and I feel like I have my own personal concierge service. It’s pretty sweet.
I don’t remember Blockbuster ever having a stack of my choices waiting for me when I got there, even when I phoned first to make sure my selections were in stock.
Plus, while I’m there, I can pick up some books to help grow my career skills. At the local video store, I’m just likely to pick up popcorn.
Updated May 5, 2014 and originally published February 5, 2008. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.