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Prime Book Box, launching today, is available via invitation to Amazon Prime members. (Amazon Photo)

The company that popularized the wireless delivery of electronic books is trying something new with the old-fashioned delivery of physical ones.

Amazon this morning announced a new subscription box for young readers called “Prime Book Box.” Yes, it’s just for Prime members. No, it’s not a free perk. The service offers a box of books every 1, 2 or 3 months for $22.99/month. (You can choose the frequency.) Kids 2 and younger get 4 board books per box, and kids 3-12 get 2 hardcover books.

Boxes are curated based on Amazon’s editors’ favorites and positive customer reviews. Subscribers can swap books from a list of alternative selections before the box ships.

Amazon Image

Amazon isn’t the first to try this. For example, a service called Kids BookCase runs $10/month, and Reading Bug Box starts at $18/month to $45/month depending on the number of books included.

With more than 100 million Prime members, the Seattle-based tech giant has a huge advantage over smaller companies in situations such as this.

It’s not clear exactly how much Amazon’s new service will save subscribers, if anything, compared to buying books from Amazon the traditional way. The company says on its FAQ page, “Prime Book Box saves you up to 35% off List Price, and is always an equal or better value than Amazon’s everyday low prices. In the event that the books in your box are available from Amazon.com for less than $22.99 at the time your order is placed, you’ll receive the lower price automatically.”

For now, the service is only available via invitation, which can be requested via the Prime Book Box site.

An Amazon representative declined to say whether the company plans a similar subscription book box for adults.

The company also offers a STEM Club Toy subscription box for varying ages for $19.99/box, also on a schedule of 1, 2 or 3 months.

Amazon last week announced new Alexa features for parents and children, plus a new $79.99 version of its Echo Dot designed for kids.

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