Book Boxes Anyone?

Here’s a quick run-down of some of my favourite book subscription boxes currently on the market! This is only a part 1, so be sure to be following this blog for more!

Hey!

Are you someone that’s interested in getting their first bookish book box? What about already being a buy, but merely wishes to see what other options are there for them? Look no further, this post is dedicated to all the bookish book boxes I have PERSONALLY tried out with my reviews and thoughts!

First off, what’s a book Subscription box?

In the simplest terms, it’s a monthly box (can be bi-weekly or quarterly, depending on the company), that contains a themed book usually as YA but can be geared toward other genres. This book can be offered in paperback or hardcover, and the more popular the book box company, the more ‘special’ edition that book may be. (Signed by author, exclusive book cover, reversible dust jacket artwork, sprayed/stencil edges, foiled hardcover, etc).

Usually the more popular the book box company, I’ve also found that they tend to offer between 4-8 bookish related items (anything from candles, artwork, mugs/glasses, bags/pouches, book sleeves, coasters, etc). The box itself is based off of a pre-chosen theme, that the curators have created and attain bookish items related to it.

There are seriously hundreds of different types of book boxes, each one is geared toward a certain type of reading experience for the customer. The all cater to their customers in some way, and with a bit of searching, you could find one perfect for you!

Below, I will discuss some of the more popular book subscription boxes on the market that I’ve personally tried/use. Also, be sure to follow my tiktok and instagram to see my many unboxings of any of these book boxes!

Also, keep in mind that I am based in Toronto/Canada, so when I talk about shipping and costs, that’s what it’s in reference to!

How do they work?

Like majority of the options, book boxes tend to be a monthly/ bi-weekly or quarterly option depending on the seller. On the first of every month or within the first week, they will charge you for the box. Then, around the 20th- 25th of that month, unless there is a shipping delay, that box would ship out. But you most likely won’t get your box for that particular month until the NEXT month…. Confused? Here’s an example. If I bought a box on June 1st, I won’t receive my JUNE box until probably the first week of JULY depending on shipping and my geological location. Boxes tend to also have an automatic renewal at the start of each month, but gives you the option to cancel or skip a month as long as it’s before the first week of the next month.

In terms of options for pricing, you can usually choose to pay 1 month, 3 months or 6 months in one go, unless stated otherwise. So, if you happened to pay for 3 months at once, then the next time you will be charged is 3 months from the first payment for another 3 months. Like most book boxes, you can usually save $5-10 on each book if you happen to buy the 3/ or 6 Monthly plan, plus there’s a thing called referral codes that can also help you achieve this.

So let’s get right into it!

  1. Illumicrate

Illumicrate is probably one of the top 3 most loved/used book subscription boxes currently on the market. Not only do they choose amazing books to offer in their themes, but each book contains a new special exclusive edition of a hardcover YA novel. Along with their fancy book, there’s a

  • matching monthly enamel pin
  • 4-6 items in each box, all based around the month’s theme (bookmarks, mugs, stationary, art prints, tote bags, etc)
  • Author letter
  • a brochure that explains what everything is/ artist/ inspired by

These are just some example themes that they’ve created over the last 2 years… (I don’t own the pictures)

That being said, since this is considered one of the most popular book boxes on the market, there’s always a waitlist to get a subscription… meaning, if you are able to grab a subscription…. KEEP IT! The waitlist time could be anything from a month to multiple months worth of wait.

Pricing?

Well let’s just say that this particular box isn’t the cheapest thing in the world. THIS IS A MONTHY BOX OPTION. Sitting at 27 EUROS ($48.82 CAD or $32.52 USD) + 17.99 EUROS ($31.99 CAD Or $25 USD) + a vat fee around $25.99 CANADIAN PER MONTH (I personally live in canada so I am require to pay this vat fee when the box arrives in the country). Now, I’m quite aware that I usually have to pay a higher shipping cost because I live in Canada, but that added vat fee is what makes this box more expensive compared to the other options…. (at least for me). They do offer to charge at 1 month, 3 months OR 6 months on their website.

July 2021
June 2021
May 2021

These are actual pictures of my recent hauls

Special: From Blood and Ash Box
Standalone Book
Standalone book

Thoughts?

Honestly, I really love Illumicrate. I love the beautiful special edition books I’ve received so far, and I think their choice of bookish related items are pretty good. I love that I am able to choose whether I want the ‘book only’ or ‘full box’ in my subscription. The only downside for me is the bloody cost. I wish it was slightly more affordable…

https://illumicrate.com/

2. Owlcrate

I want to start off by saying, if you are looking for one of the popular bookish boxes, Owlcrate is definitely one to check out. I have personally found that I’ve enjoyed every single box I have so far received in terms of bookish items and the books themselves. Now, compared to Illumicrate or Fairyloot for instance, the exclusive edition hardcovers don’t usually have stenciled or colored edges. But they do, do a lot of signed editions along with exclusive versions of the dust jackets compared to what you might see in stores. I’ve also personally found that this is slightly cheaper compared to Illumicrate and Fairyloot, making my bank account not get too angry with me.

Another thing that I believe is wonderful about this particular box, is that they don’t only offer a YA novel themed box but also a Jr version as well (based for pre-teens or children). Yes, both options still contain special books and items, but they also follow along with a monthly theme that is pre-advertised on social media. They also do a wonderful job in giving a few days notice through email when your renewal is coming up, to give you the change to ‘skip a month’ if needed be.

The boxes usually contain:

  • a special edition hardcover, plus an author letter
  • matching enamel pin
  • 4-6 items in each box, all based around the month’s theme (bookmarks, mugs, stationary, art prints, tote bags, etc)
  • a brochure that explains what everything is/ artist/ inspired by

Pricing?

Since this is a monthly book box option, each box costs $32.99 USD ($41.16 CAD) + $14.99 Canadian shipping + $6.24 Tax = $54.22 USD ($65.12 CAD). Honestly, I find it’s a bit more cheaper than some other options for the amount you are getting in the box. This one also has the option of buy the 3 months or 6 months on both the YA novel box or the JR version.

Thoughts?

I think this one might be my overall favourite out of all the ones I’ve tried. From when it ships, I usually get the box within a week’s worth of time, so it’s really fast. Bookish items are pretty decent as well, and I personally find that they are more useful in everyday life. What’s even more wonderful is compared to many other book boxes, there never seems to be a waitlist for the subscription boxes and you are always able to buy past stock on their website. (So if you regret skipping a month, you are always able to jump onto the website and buy the last box as a whole or any of the items/book separately!)

https://www.owlcrate.com/

3. Fairyloot

Ok, if you’re as big of a book collector like me, then this is a book subscription you want to be apart of! Every single book of theirs is chosen with love and much debate, and they always find an amazing read. On top of that, I’ve personally found that their exclusive books in general tend to appear more ‘fancy’, if that’s the right word. 95% of them are signed by the author, and has either colored edges or stenciled edges or BOTH! Their books are instagram picture worthy with how beautiful they all come out!

The Boxes usually contain:

  • an exclusive edition, mostly likely with stenciled/ sprayed edges, signed
  • matching monthly enamel pin
  • 4-6 bookish items in each box, all based around the month’s theme
  • a brochure with the information on every item
binary comment

Pricing?

Ok, so for obvious reasons, this book subscription tends to be a bit more higher than other’s, but their exclusive books are top notch! This is a MONTHLY box option. Each book costs: 25 EUROS ($41.36 CAD OR $34.74 USD) + $15.99 Shipping = $49.89 USD OR $62.24 CAD. There is also the option of buying the 3 or 6 month plan. Now, since fairyloot is bloody popular, there is a waitlist to get onto any of their subscription boxes, and the wait could be pretty terrible. I personally had to wait about 4 months before I finally got an email.

Thoughts?

I can’t explain how beautiful each and every single exclusive edition book is that I’ve so far received from Fairyloot. Each one almost makes me cry with how utterly stunningly designed they are. Don’t believe me, go google or youtube an unboxing and you will understand. For the price, I think it’s worth it since I’m a book collector in general. But if you are someone that rather focus on recommendations with a smaller budget, maybe don’t attempt this box yet.

https://us.fairyloot.com/

4. The Bookish Book Box

The Bookish Book Box is considered as one of the more popular book subscription boxes available. Compared to other book subscription options, they like to cater more to the masses by offering various types of boxes to get. This is a MONTHLY box, so you will have to pay every month.

The boxes could contain:

  • a new release in either YA/Adult hardcover (signed)
  • The books could have: exclusive reversible dust jackets, signed, end pages
  • 3-5 Home, beauty and fashion related bookish items
$30.99 USD
$44.49 USD
$57.50 USD

As you can see, they offer many different types of boxes to cater to their customers. You could get only the hardcover book signed, or you can get the bookish items separates. They also offer a Young Adult box for the masses and an Adult Book for people looking for something a bit spicier. As well with the variety, The Bookish Book Box also has an online store where they sell past items/books, and sometimes there is even sales/discounts!

$30.99 USD
$42.99 USD
$57.50 USD

Thoughts?

This box is great if you are looking to customize what you get. Along with a subscription, there are also add on options as well, to add extra bookish merch, if you wished to do so. In terms of pricing, it’s not too bad, sitting in the general average of book subscription boxes. But considering that the hardcover books aren’t usually as fancy in appearance as others, it wouldn’t hurt if the price was slightly cheaper.

https://thebookishshop.com/

5. Book of The Month

So, I haven’t personally tried this one yet, but I’ve seen so many of other Booktoker’s/ Bookstagramers buy this that I thought we should talk about it. This is a MONTHLY Book subscription box that showcases new releases in YA. Unfortunately, this subscription box is only available in the USA.

What’s great about this box is that it is very customizable. Every month, they give you the option of choosing 1 out of the 5 options. Each book sits in a different category: thriller, fantasy, romance, etc. But if you don’t like any of the options, you could choose from one of the past months instead. As well, you can also add up to 2 more book add-on’s, in case there were multiple books you were interested in! What’s even better is that the shipping is free!

Pricing?

Well, this box tends to be on the cheaper scale of book subscriptions. For your first month, it only costs $9.99 USD! After that, the box then costs $15.99 USD. Shipping is considered free, as of now, making this box well worth it’s price!

Thoughts?

Well, there’s not much I could personally say about this box since I’m not even allowed to buy it (Canada remember?). But considering how customizable this box is, I think it is well worth it’s price. You get to literally CHOOSE what you get every month, so there’s no surprises when it comes. Then again, I don’t see how different this is if you just go to the bookstores in person and buy the new release physically? I don’t know, that’s just me thinking here… Shipping is free, which is also a bonus as well.

https://www.bookofthemonth.com/

So as I’ve listed above, there are HUNDREDS of different types of book subscription boxes available out there, and I’ve barely scratched the surface. Like and follow this blog for when I post about some of the other book boxes I know of and my thoughts!

2 thoughts on “Book Boxes Anyone?

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