I am a book subscription addict!
I have subscribed to OwlCraft off and on since December 2016. I have enjoyed some of their boxes but they have a tendency to follow those boxes up with a box that looks like it’s missing something. They seem to really enjoy paper items in the boxes which gets really old really fast (I don’t need 15 postcard sized prints with a quote on it). For example, the April box was a contemporary (I skipped it since I hate most contemporaries) but so many people enjoyed it and it looked like the quality and quantity of the items was there. Then May, they had a Comic Explosion theme which got my heart excited (I ended up skipping it because the book just didn’t interest me) and WOW am I happy I skipped. Lots of cheap and/or paper products with a funko pop of a superhero. I get that funkos are expensive sometimes but lots of boxes (BookLoot and Book Boyfriend) have had AMAZING boxes with funko pops. I’m giving them a shot again in June and hoping for the best.
PS They also now sell an OwlCrate Jr. box that is unisex and focused on tween ages.
July Theme: Wanderlust
This company runs every other month and I only discovered them in 2017 (and they are a new company). I got their February and April boxes and I am very impressed. The February 2017 box had a hardcover of Carve the Mark and a paperback of an indie book along with some goodies (including socks, which I love). The April box was Beauty & The Beast themed and *gasps with smile* it was beautiful! Hardcover copy of Hunted, B&tB funko, make up, candle and more. I’ll be skipping their June box since it’s a contemporary but I will be super excited to see what August’s theme is. I also got their special edition Infernal Devices box and they absolutely nailed that one too! Candle, gorgeous fan art print, tote bag, hand lotion, and more! They also do an amazing job shipping their international boxes. I’ve actually gotten one of the boxes before most US customers. Sadly, the Book Boyfriend closed after their June 2017 box.
I got the HootLoot Wizards and Wilderness-themed January and Rebels and Rockets-themed February boxes that were soooooo worth the money. They work a little differently than most book boxes since they sell on Etsy and you have to rush to get a box every month whenever the inventory gets added (so make sure to join their VIP email list). They took a short break from March to June but they are back for July. I am really excited by their return. The return brings a few changes including switching to selling boxes every other month and shifting their focus away from make-up. Their international shipping is quite pricey so I won’t be getting all their boxes but when they have a theme for me…
July Theme: Love & London
The Bookish Box
I have in the past subscribed to The Bookish Box and I would not recommend them. Their quality and cost are absolutely not worth it. A lot of the items in the boxes are created by the owner’s other company (Appraising Pages) and they say the print item costs $6.99 when in reality it’s like $2.99…the shirts are also super underwhelming. There’s no creativity or anything in them–it just looks like they pulled a very random quote, typed it into Microsoft World, picked a cute font and used that. I’d rather buy something from Evie Bookish. I tried them the first time around Christmas 2016 when they did a Musicals themed box. There’s so many things you could do with that box and they did none of it! Box shipped late, quote on the shirt was illegible and had to be Googled, the earrings that were Hamilton-themed were literally just circular studs in either black, red or yellow but because the flimsy paper packaging had a Hamilton quote on it (since apparently, you keep packaging of earrings), it was musical. I tried them again around March 2017 when they had an Outlander special box. That box wasn’t bad but it’s very generic. Once again, illegible and unrecognizable quote, a cheap dollar store quality tumbler with a quote that has been on lots of licensed merchandise, a horrible uncreative print, and a very plain candle. They tend to do the same items in every box, always have issues with shipping. I also saw people who got their special edition Beauty & The Beast and Sherlock boxes…they were full on money stealing boxed. Not even worth the cost of the box let alone the shipping cost and exchange. I know it turned lots of people off their box since it made it very clear that the owner sees this as a money making opportunity with no interest in actually offering quality products.
I have also subscribed to FairyLoot in the past. Their box was cool but the cost of the box + shipping from the UK to Canada + the customs fees that I had to pay to get the box put it at $100.00! The items did not add up to that amount and there are so many other boxes that are good quality and cheaper. AND they shipped their UK boxes…which took like a day to get delivered since they are located in the UK and THEN a WEEK LATER shipped their international boxes after everyone was already spoiled. Was just overall, underwhelmed and disappointed by the experience. They have apparently changed their shipping timeline to start shipping international first but I don’t understand how it took a company A YEAR to figure this out.
I’ve gotten one box from SpearCraft and I was impressed. I will be keeping an eye on their themes and try them when they aren’t the same as OwlCrate and Book Boyfriend. I got their February Goblin King themed box which was really nice. They seem to really lean on paper products to justify the cost of their box which isn’t always bad but everyone has a limit to how many prints with book quotes on them that they want and can display. Their box was on the expensive side so they will only be one that I get when none of my other boxes have a theme I am interested in and when their theme is something to do with pirates or time travel.
I finally got my BookLoot “Fierce Fem’s” May box and it was wonderful (just as wonderful as the April “Victorian” themed box) but holy crap is it expensive?! With currency exchange and international shipping, the box came to about $70 CAD…AND THEN it got stopped at the border and had $13 CAD in customs duties added (I know at least 3 other Canadians who had this happen to them this month) so I won’t likely be getting BookLoot all that often. Nearly $100 CAD for a SINGLE book box is atrocious–the bookish goodies are great but when the box comes to almost 4x the cost of the actual book when bought in Canada…
I picked up their April “More than Machines” box which was so adorable! It wasn’t an overly elaborate box but it had neat and some relatively unique bookish goodies as well as a book that no one else did. I will definitely keep an eye on their themes and consider them in the future. Their April box touched on so many fandoms that I am devoted to. I have never seen a box include a Lunar Chronicles chapstick and a Doctor Who TARDIS chapstick holder! Both are firmly attached to my wallet and I constantly get asked about it (plus I’ve stopped losing my chapsticks in my purse.
I received their May debut box “Witches and Matchmakers” and O-H M-Y G-A-W-D! This is easily the best box I have EVER gotten from any subscription company. This thing was JAMMED full off high quality and usable goodies including a freaking book sleeve, candle, soap, a non-duplicate book (everyone in May seemed to do Flame in the Mist) that had an author’s note and signed book plate! I literally couldn’t fit everything into a single photo and I will absolutely be getting their June box. Even with currency exchange and international shipping, their box was overwhelmingly worth it. Because the box is so new, I was even able to avoid spoilers despite not getting it until May 26th!