Book Box Subscriptions, The New Thing?

So, for a while now I’ve been hearing about book boxes. There are plenty out there, and the basic premise is the same: subscribe and once a month (or less, depending on the company), you will be sent a surprise book in the mail, often with themed merchandise. Some boxes come with tea, some with jewels, and some with bath stuff.

I finally gave in and decided to try one.

With OwlCrate, the company I’ve probably hear the most about, I had the option to choose from their back order list just to try out the service. A few months back the book of the month was Caraval by Stephanie Garber, and it came with a bunch of circus themed goodies, including the Night Circus tote pictured below. As I loved The Night Circus, I decided that this was the box for me.

Well, it arrived yesterday, which immediately perked me up after arriving home from work, because who doesn’t love getting stuff in the mail that isn’t a bill?

Here’s a video and some pictures of my swag:

I really did enjoy opening my box. The mini-donut lip balm by Geek Fire Labs smells soooo good. As does the candle. The book looks like a great read too, and I can’t wait to get to it once I get my TBR pile down to a reasonable level (Why is it always out of control?). But the real question is: are book box subscriptions as pleasurable as going to a book store?

Now, I love book stores. I love going there, getting coffee, browsing the shelves of not just books, but journals, bookmarks, candles, and treats. The difference, though, is that the OwlCrate was filled with book related items. I think that is where so many bookstores fall short. Fandom is a huge market these days, and it’s only getting bigger. When I read a book like Throne of Glass, or Rebel of the Sands, I don’t just want the book, I want the stuff in the book. I want a candle that brings the world to life, or a necklace like the one so-and-so’s character wears, and this where the themed book crates come in.

So yes, I did enjoy the experience. Would I do it again? Quite possibly. Because I love surprises. That said, there is always the chance that I won’t like what comes in the box. And that’s when I go back to the bookstore.

JEH