In November last year I got excited about the book world for a whole new reason. I discovered that there were such things as book subscription boxes and despite most of them being based in the US one of the more popular boxes was based in the UK, so I set about getting subscribed to Fairyloot. Over the last 5 months I have looked forward to the box arriving, got frustrated with being the last in the delivery line, rejoiced at being first, avoided Instagram for days to avoid box spoilers and opened boxes with a mix of delight and disappointment. Ultimately Fairlyloot, for me, has been really inconsistent. When they get it right (November and January) it’s amazing, but when they don’t (December and March) it’s such a let down. I appreciate it’s a hard task to please everyone all the time (i’ve loved boxes that others have hated) and cover all the fandoms that such a wide range of readers want to see, but for those of us with very little in the way of disposable income it’s frustrating when a box doesn’t live up to the hype. The much anticipated anniversary box arrived on Monday and sadly I felt so strongly that it was a poor box I’ve cancelled my subscription. I’ll probably regret it especially as their April box contains an Ink and Wonder item and an item based on Fantastic Beasts, but the trouble with subscription boxes is that they are entirely a mystery, you pay for it and then hope for the best – it’s actually quite a baffling concept now i’m writing it down. However, even now I’m sat here wondering if I should re-subscribe, but I think it’s time that I see what else is out there in the terms available boxes!
I recently took part in an instagram rep search for a new box company called Ravenswand and whilst I didn’t get selected I was so intrigued by their Monthly Raven boxes that I put in an order for a single purchase and with free UK delivery I was sold! Content wise, they have fewer items than fairyloot (they are also cheaper) but of the items they always include, are a fantasy book or books! A candle, a bookmark and some other bookish goodies. From the unboxing I have seen the candle looks to be full size and their last book was one I really wanted to read! The great thing about this company is that they are ultimately an online shop selling fantasy book, gaming and TV fandom items so I have high hopes that their box content will be reflective of the quality of the items on their online store – watch this space!
I have also signed up for Illumicrate, this a quarterly book box and has consistently good reviews for content, they often contain 2 books (one being an Arc) and are not restricted to YA fantasy, from what I have seen they appear to offer good value for money, especially as again they offer free UK shipping and with a rep code I saved even more! This box isn’t due until May so it maybe some time until I get to see if the hype lives up to the content.
In the interim months I will likely look into one of the boxes from suppliers I have discovered through fairyloot, you may remember that I adored the box I received from Bookish Teas, I want to try and get another cushion cover from Stella Bookish Art and also a candle box, most likely from UK based Bookish Burns this time around.
So lots to look forward to coming up and if it seems after all that actually Fairyloot offered the best value I may consider resubscribing or I may just spend the equivalent on books and candles that I actually want!
Do you use any subscription box services? Which ones and would you recommend them?
NB: I wrote this post yesterday to publish today, sadly today I found out that my beloved cat Leeloo is suffering the beginnings of kidney failure. I’m not sure what the ongoing vet bills will be like but clearly my priority will be making the best for her for the time we have left together. My income for book boxes is likely to be depleted so once I have the boxes I have paid for it’s unlikely I’ll be getting more for a while.