Let’s Talk Bookish: Subscription Boxes

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. This week’s topic is ‘Subscription Boxes’.

I only discovered bookish subscription boxes last year but they’ve been around for a little while now. The basic idea is that once a month you get a box in the post that includes a new release book and a few bookish items. Some companies also offer book only or item only options. Sounds appealing right? That’s exactly what I thought when I discovered book boxes existed. It’s super exciting waiting for the box to arrive and then the surprise of opening it since you don’t know what’s going to be inside! Plus, they often do special edition boxes for big new releases in which all the items are themed around that book/series e.g. Chain of Gold, Queen of Nothing.

So far, I have tried Fairyloot, Illumicrate and Book Box Club which are all UK based. I haven’t tried any US based ones yet as shipping is really expensive. I’ve only had one box from Illumicrate so far and while I liked it, I didn’t feel there was as much included as the Fairyloot boxes I’ve had. Literally just this week I had my first Book Box Club box. The May theme was around dragons which I absolutely adore so this theme was just perfect for me. However, it didn’t feel like there was much in the box, there were only a few small items. Unlike Illumicrate and Fairyloot who offer exclusive editions (usually with sprayed edges, exclusive cover design etc), the books included in Book Box Club appear to be just the standard editions. What Book Box Club does offer though is a member-exclusive book group with the author of the featured book which sounds really cool, though I haven’t tried it out yet since I only just got my first box from them.

In comparison, the three monthly Fairyloot boxes I’ve had so far (October, February and March) seem to offer better value for money than the Illumicrate and Book Box Club ones I’ve had. They were full to the brim with a mixture of great small and larger items. So out of the three, Fairyloot stands out to me as the best in terms of their monthly boxes.

I recently received the special edition boxes for Chain of Gold from Illumicrate and Fairyloot. In this case, I think it was the Illumicrate box that was the best. All the items worked really well together and were unique and interesting. I was blown away by how amazing their box was. From looking at their past special edition boxes, Illumicrate seem to be really good at these.

I don’t think I will become a regular subscriber to a book subscription box as much as I would love to.  They are quite expensive. By the time VAT and shipping is added the monthly boxes come to roughly £32. The other problem is that the kinds of items included do seem to be a bit repetitive, so I can imagine ending up with lots of similar items that I don’t know what to do with. I would be more likely to subscribe if there was less repetition and more unique items in each box. Also, as the contents are a surprise (which to be fair is part of what makes receiving them exciting) there is the potential to be disappointed so it can be a bit hit and miss.

As I have a lot more time for reading at the moment due to not being able to go anywhere, I will probably get a few more boxes this year. Plus, I need something to look forward to right now. I’m in the at risk group so I can’t go anywhere, not even to the supermarket! Receiving book boxes will provide some much-needed bright spots in what is quite a difficult time right now. When things get back to normal though I will probably go back to just getting the occasional box as a treat.  

How do you feel about subscription boxes? Are you subscribed to any? Which would you recommend? Share your thoughts with me in the comments!   

19 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: Subscription Boxes

  1. I wish I could try Illumicrate or Fairy Loot but the shipping is so expensive for me so I’ve stuck with OwlCrate. Fairy Loot does release quite a few items that make me super jealous though!

    On items being repetitive – you’re definitely right. OwlCrate has sent out SO MANY fabric tapestries I cannot imagine anyone having enough wall space to display them all no matter how pretty some of them may be.

  2. These all seem so cool!! A sprayed edge book sounds like it’ll be such a treasure, and after reading all the LTB posts for today, I’m so excited by the idea of getting a box. But I also see why it could be a problem since I don’t have the money to splurge all the time, and I feel like I wouldn’t know what to do with half the items, so I’ll probably not get a box anyway.

    Great post!! Also, stay safe, and I hope you enjoy your future boxes!!

    • You could always get a single purchase as a one off rather than subscribing if you wanted to just get one to see what its all about, I think most of them offer that option. But yeah I feel they’re too expensive to get it every month. Stay safe ❤️

  3. I really loved Illumicrate (after having a rough start when I first subscribed), but being based in the US, the cost got too much for me, especially once they switched from quarterly boxes to monthly. Illumicrate and FairyLoot always have some of the prettiest and most unique special editions, which I enjoy. Jealous you got the Chain of Gold box! I definitely had book envy once I saw everyone unboxing theirs! 😂

    • I quite like the idea of having a box quarterly rather than monthly as it would be more affordable so I was disappointed that Illumicrate had switched to monthly when I discovered them. The Chain of Gold box was great! I also got the illumicrate edition of Aurora Burning recently which is 😍

  4. I really like special edition boxes because I know that everything has one theme? I got the LitJoyCrate’s Harry Potter Year 7.1 box and absolutely loved it! I’ve also gotten one shelflovecrate and Owlcrate, but LitJoy’s was definitely my favorite. It’s nice to have everything have one theme! :)

    • Yes and when it’s one theme/fandom you love then you know you’re going to love what’s inside! 🙂 The LitJoy Crate magical boxes look so amazing! I nearly got the 7.2 box but the shipping was just so expensive! I might get one of theirs in future though.

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