It seems like I can’t go a day without seeing someone post about their latest book box subscription (mostly on Instagram and YouTube) and their excitement over the unboxing process gives me mixed feelings.
I love surprises just as much as the next person, but no matter how much I’d love to receive a box of book-related goodies in the mail, I can’t bring myself to try out any of the subscriptions I’ve seen. I have a few reasons for this.
Primarily it’s the cost. I don’t want to spend $30+ on a box of assorted items I might not like and a book I may already own (or not enjoy). I would rather just buy myself a few books with that movie and if the mood hits, I’m happy to buy myself some bookish jewelry as well (though, really, I have too many necklaces.) Many of the boxes I see happen to focus on YA books as well and I’ve learned I no longer enjoy the genre the way I used to.
I know there are subscription boxes out there that are more customizable and focus on genres other than YA, but they still aren’t enough to draw me in because of the price.
The other issue, which I’ve already started to touch upon, is the book itself. I buy books for myself pretty much whenever I feel like it, so there’s always a chance that whatever book arrives at my doorstep already has a twin on my shelves. Not to mention, I’m already burying myself in unread books and I don’t need a monthly service to help me.
But I will admit that constantly seeing these unboxing videos and posts about how excited everyone is for their latest box of goodies does bring out a childish feeling of jealousy. So many in the community seem to be part of what feels like a new type of club and I’m left out. But I remind myself that I don’t need the little things that come in the box and I’m happy with the books that I supply myself with.
I did try a subscription service once, though, but it’s not a box, just a book – Odd Voyage. (1/27/18 update: They don’t appear to be a service anymore, which is sad.) It was quite a while ago now, but what drew me to their service was the price. The subscription is affordable because they’re literally just sending you a book, no frills, and the books are used so it keeps the cost very low. I have no problem with adding used books to my library so I did a one-month subscription for a sci-fi book. Naturally I haven’t read it yet, but it turned up in pretty good condition and they promise not to send anything but the first book in a series, if your book happens to be in a series. Looking at their website again it looks like they now offer manga which is cool.
Not sure when I’ll give Odd Voyage ago again, because I do still run the risk of receiving a book I already own, but I would like to try them out again.
So, what are your thoughts on book subscriptions? A waste of money? A fun way to support small businesses? Or just not on your radar?