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Your Own Custom Book of the Month: Brazos Bookstore's Inu-chan

It's called Inu-chan and it is a program, now in its second year, brought to the community by Brazos Bookstore. Inu-chan is a very customized book club, more or less, where customers sign up to receive surprise books each month, based on their personalities. Brazos developed the idea last year as a way to do something different for their customers.

"This is something that bigger stores can't do," says Jeremy Ellis, Brazos's manager.

Beginning on March 18, the store will conduct interviews for two weeks or with up to the first 50 people who sign up to assist in their tailor-made-for-you selections. The 10-15-minute interviews consist of questions about the readers' passions in life and are not primarily about their reading preferences. Once the interviews are completed, the Brazos team goes to work to select specific books that they think readers will enjoy. Based on their magic formula, each reader will receive a book every month from April through September.

"We want this to be a unique experience," Ellis mentions.

The books the store sends are not your typical best-sellers/blockbuster-type books; they tend to fall a bit on the "weird" side. Additionally, the books come hand-wrapped, some with little extras to make the experience that much more special.

Based on last year's response, the store expects this year's to be even more successful. They have taken some of the feedback from the previous year and made some slight changes.

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"We will have more reading-centric books this year," according to Ellis.

Last year the store mixed in a number of cookbooks and art books, and while there will still be one or so of "other" books, people said that they wanted more reading and fewer pictures. Brazos took this into consideration. In general, those who sign up will see a nice mix of fiction and nonfiction, mostly hardcovers and some paperbacks.

Ellis mentioned that last year one of the best responses the bookstore received was when readers told them that "they never would have picked the book on their own," and they were grateful to try out something new.

Brazos Bookstore's Inu-chan begins the interviewing process on Monday, March 18. The cost is $25 per month for six months. If you are interested in joining, visit brazosbookstore.com/inuchan. Space is limited.

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