Let’s Talk Bookish: Subscription Boxes

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts. You can check out more about this meme here!

Today’s topic is all about book subscription boxes! For anyone who doesn’t know, book subscription boxes are monthly boxes you receive which typically contain one new or upcoming release book and a handful of bookish items. Many of the book subscription companies also occasionally do special editions of popular books that are exclusive to them.


BOXES I’VE SUBSCRIBED TO OR BOUGHT

I’ve gotten book boxes from a few different companies over the years. My only current subscriptions are:

FairyLoot – FairyLoot is renown for having beautiful sprayed-edges on their books. I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed by any of their boxes. Occasionally the boxes include a book and an upcoming ARC, which is awesome! They are based in the UK, so if you’re in the US like me you will have to pay a bit more for international shipping.

OwlCrate – OwlCrate books almost always have a unique cover from the original (typically the colors are different), and they’re always really pretty! They’re based in the US and I find their prices totally worth what comes in the box.

LitJoy Crate – I cancelled my subscription simply because I realized I was skipping a lot more renewals than I was keeping. However, LitJoy has some of the coolish and most useful bookish items that I’ve gotten. Their items are also super high quality! I bought the Muse of Nightmares special edition box and wow was everything in there amazing. This company is also based in the US.

Illumicrate – This was actually the first book box I subscribed to, and it got off to a rough start. My first box never arrived, although it was shipped, and my replacement box also never arrived. I never had a problem after that, but I ended up cancelling my subscription once they switched from quarterly to monthly boxes as it became too expensive. I’d definitely reconsider resubscribing to them in the future though. They’re based in the UK as well.

On top of monthly subscriptions, many companies also allow consumers to purchase one-time boxes or special edition boxes. There are also many non-book subscription boxes available.

Alchemy + Ink – This company sells decadently dark and gothic candles, along with a few other bookish items. I bought a special edition box from them one time and to this day it was the best box I’ve ever received. I haven’t seen any on their site in a while so I’m not sure if they still do them, which is a shame. It looks like they started a monthly candle subscription box though.

Fabled Merch – I loved buying candles from Wick & Fable long before they started a separate site dedicated to subscription boxes. The company offers monthly candle subscription boxes, which include bookish merch, and a monthly pin club.


FAVORITE ITEMS I’VE RECEIVED

My biggest issue with subscription boxes is that a majority of the things that come in the box are useless to me. I have an entire container in my closet packed to the brim with things I either don’t use, or don’t use often enough to leave out. However, I have also gotten some really awesome things as well! A few of my favorite items include:

✨ Strange the Dreamer Umbrella
✨ Hair Scrunchies
✨ Lord of the Rings & Narnia Metal Bookends
✨ Candles
✨ Lavender Linen Spray
✨ Reading Journals
✨ Reusable Utensils
✨ Handmade Tiara


ITEMS I’D LIKE TO SEE MORE OF

A girl can only own so many tapestries, art prints, and stickers. There are a lot more other more useful items that I would love to see included more often in subsciption boxes:

✨ Blankets
✨ Pens/Pencils
✨ Mugs
✨ Tea/Coffee
✨ Stackable Charm Bracelets
✨ Notepads
✨ Fairy Lights
✨ Puzzles/Games


OTHER SUBSCRIPTION BOXES TO TRY

In addition to the “bigger” book subscription boxes mentioned above, there are a whole bunch of lesser-known companies who also have great bookish merch. Some of these boxes also end up doing special edition books that look really awesome as well. I ordered the FaeCrate Empire of Gold Recovery kit and I’m super excited to see what’ll be inside!

Shelflove Crate

Fae Crate

Beacon Box

Fox and Wit

The Bookish Box


Do you subscribe to any bookish boxes? What’s the coolest item you’ve ever gotten? Let me know in the comments!

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16 thoughts

  1. Book subscription boxes are a neat idea. It’s not really my thing though. My biggest worry is I’d end up reviewing all the same books as everyone else (whatever books end up in Owl Crate or LitJoy, I see all over booktube and book blogs about a million times). And it’s not that I’ll never review a popular book. I reviewed Ninth House. But I’d rather let my own tastes guide me and review a mixture of new releases and older books. It sets you apart more that way. So while I think book subscription boxes are a neat idea for the average reader, I think they hurt the book review community. It leads to the book community becoming very boring and many reviewers becoming indistinguishable from one another. Same thing with ARCs. Relying too much on ARCs has the same effect.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely agree with you to a point. Most of the subscription companies tend to stick with the big releases that already have a lot of hype and publicity. Sometimes, more than one of the boxes even have the same box for the same month, which is disappointing. A couple of the best books I’ve gotten from boxes were books I hadn’t even heard of. I think subsciption boxes have the opportunity to boost the publicity of lesser known titles and indie authors, so it’s a shame they don’t do it more often.

      Like

  2. Sorry to hear you had such a rough experience with Illumicrate! It seems like reviews on them are particularly mixed. I love OwlCrate because it’s never let me down so far but if FairyLoot’s shipping was cheaper I would definitely want to look into it.

    I think we have pretty similar taste to what counts as a “good” item in a subscription box. I got a Harry Potter umbrella from OwlCrate which is my favourite but I’m always happy for candles, blankets and other scented or useful things. I’d like to see fewer wall tapestries.

    P.S. I’m hosting this meme now too~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it’s a shame FairyLoot is so expensive. Especially since they always do the limited special editions. I’ve missed out on some because I couldn’t afford it 😭

      And I totally know that you also host, I don’t know why I forgot to put you in 😫I fixed the posts to include you! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ok, now subscription boxes sound super cute and exciting!! But I don’t have the money to spend or the space to keep all these things, and besides the books and candles, I don’t think I’d use any of the other items lol. I really hope the FaeCrate doesn’t disappoint you though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They can really add up, especially if people are getting more than one a month! I had to stop all my subscriptions after December because I couldn’t afford them while in school and only working part time.

      And I do admit, I get a lot of stuff that I don’t need/use. I almost wish there was a Build Your Own Box subsciption where you can choose from a list what bookish items you want included 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a fun way to write this post! 😀 I love the exclusiveness of OwlCrate’s books, but I love how useful LitJoyCrate’s items are, like you said. I got their Harry Potter Year 7.1 box and have used almost everything in the box. Win-win for this minimalist!

    Liked by 1 person

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