Life of a Book Hoarder

Book Box Subscriptions

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It seems like I can’t go a day without seeing someone post about their latest book box subscription (mostly on Instagram and YouTube) and their excitement over the unboxing process gives me mixed feelings.

I love surprises just as much as the next person, but no matter how much I’d love to receive a box of book-related goodies in the mail, I can’t bring myself to try out any of the subscriptions I’ve seen. I have a few reasons for this.

Primarily it’s the cost. I don’t want to spend $30+ on a box of assorted items I might not like and a book I may already own (or not enjoy). I would rather just buy myself a few books with that movie and if the mood hits, I’m happy to buy myself some bookish jewelry as well (though, really, I have too many necklaces.) Many of the boxes I see happen to focus on YA books as well and I’ve learned I no longer enjoy the genre the way I used to.

I know there are subscription boxes out there that are more customizable and focus on genres other than YA, but they still aren’t enough to draw me in because of the price.

The other issue, which I’ve already started to touch upon, is the book itself. I buy books for myself pretty much whenever I feel like it, so there’s always a chance that whatever book arrives at my doorstep already has a twin on my shelves. Not to mention, I’m already burying myself in unread books and I don’t need a monthly service to help me.

But I will admit that constantly seeing these unboxing videos and posts about how excited everyone is for their latest box of goodies does bring out a childish feeling of jealousy. So many in the community seem to be part of what feels like a new type of club and I’m left out. But I remind myself that I don’t need the little things that come in the box and I’m happy with the books that I supply myself with.

I did try a subscription service once, though, but it’s not a box, just a book – Odd Voyage. (1/27/18 update: They don’t appear to be a service anymore, which is sad.) It was quite a while ago now, but what drew me to their service was the price. The subscription is affordable because they’re literally just sending you a book, no frills, and the books are used so it keeps the cost very low. I have no problem with adding used books to my library so I did a one-month subscription for a sci-fi book. Naturally I haven’t read it yet, but it turned up in pretty good condition and they promise not to send anything but the first book in a series, if your book happens to be in a series. Looking at their website again it looks like they now offer manga which is cool.

Not sure when I’ll give Odd Voyage ago again, because I do still run the risk of receiving a book I already own, but I would like to try them out again.

So, what are your thoughts on book subscriptions? A waste of money? A fun way to support small businesses? Or just not on your radar?

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7 thoughts on “Book Box Subscriptions”

  1. I have mixed thoughts and feelings. In general, I love the idea but I am also always worried that I’ll get a book I already own. And while I love the idea of random bookish items, I find myself more often gifting those items than keeping them. There are two though that I have enjoyed and both are solely books. The first is MyBookHunter, it’s a new book a month. You can do a one month or six month subscription and the one month is not month to month so it does not renew. Why I love it because it’s a brand new book which I don’t buy for myself often. I think I gear towards used books or paperbacks or books I’ve wanted for a while. But I love owning brand new books. So this subscription is like a blind box, you don’t know what book you’ll get. But the curator usually sends out an email giving people a description or reaction to the book. It’s costly like 20 something with shipping but no more than a new book. I like it because I found myself receiving books that I may have otherwise ignored. While it is a gamble, I feel like I’m expanding my reading and sometimes I get a book that I thought was interesting but didn’t buy it because it’s brand new.

    Okay now comes my other favorite, I signed up for book of the month club. Which I love love love. Okay it’s a month to month, three month, and I think 6month or yearly subscription, you decide. It is a reoccurring charge so if you don’t want it, you have to cancel. However, they always email you ahead of time so you are given plenty of advance notice. Okay so every month there is a selection of four or five, I forget, books to choose from. They default to giving you a book but you can always change it. So why I love it, you get to pick the book you want! It’s not always brand new in like publication but it is always a hardcover edition for the book of the month. They also allow you to add up to two other books for 10 books each. If you don’t find any of the books appealing, you can skip the month and it gets carried over. I love it because I get to choose or skip. Month to month is I think 16 more or less. They also usually send extra goodies like I got a straw once or a magnet or mints or a cup cozy for wine glasses. So useful small things. I’ve gotten books I’ve wanted new hardcover for cheaper and books that sound really interesting.

    Have I read all these books, no. But does that ever stop me from buying new books, no. Hahaha so yea ooo and if the book of the month one sounds interesting, I have a link to a coupon if it’s one you’d like to try.

    So yea I mean these are the only ones that have really worked for me. Others I have loved but in the end we’re not as practical.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I used to do the BookRiot YA box but stopped because only one of two of the bookish goodies I was interested in and the books didn’t appeal to me much. The only subscription box I do now is the Book of the Month box because you choose your book, they don’t send many goodies, you have the option to skip a month, and it’s pretty affordable. I just love that i have more control over what’s sent to me and when.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just realized Nichole mentioned BoTM too lol. I’ve gotten 3 books from them so far but haven’t yet read them, which, considering my new books to read books ratio, isn’t very surprising.
    But, a lil self promo I guess, if you decide to go with them, I do have a 30% off promo code you could use.
    My only complaint with them is that all their books are hardcovers n I prefer paperback.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have very similar feelings. I tried OwlCrate but YA can be so hit or miss for me. I have tried out another subscription service called MyLitBox which focuses on diversity in books. The books they put in their boxes are always by authors of color. I really liked it! I am thinking about getting the subscription of Christmas 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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