Subscription boxes of all kinds are taking over the market — from meal prep to makeup to clothing, there’s something so exciting about receiving a package full of goodies. And now, there’s an emerging market for book subscription boxes, catering to readers of all kinds. Companies try to entice readers with exclusive and signed copies of newly released books accompanied by a vast array of items, like stationery and homegoods, usually centered around a theme. With similar goods, companies are trying to come up with limited edition and unique products to keep the boxes fresh and exciting. By commissioning independent artists to contribute to the products, there’s no doubt you’ll appreciate the thought and dedication that goes into the specially crafted boxes if you decide to treat yourself to one.
Fairyloot (~$29/month or for single-purchase)
Centered around young adult (YA) fantasy, this UK-based company features new releases and about four to five related items. Their August 2019 box was the first book box I’ve purchased, after spending months trying to research which would be the best to spend my money on. Fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed, or else I would have felt kind of bad about spending $8 on shipping (downside of book boxes: costly shipping).
The theme, “Things Are Not What They Seem” centered around books with plot twists and dramatic reveals and featured unique items like a holographic cutlery set with quotes from “The Lunar Chronicles,” a cushion cover with quote art from “An Ember in the Ashes” and a scrunchie set based on the “Graceling” trilogy. The August young adult debut, “The Merciful Crow” by Margaret Owen, came signed and had an exclusive embossing under the book’s dust jacket. Fairyloot has also featured popular young adult novels like “A Curse So Dark and Lonely” by Brigid Kemmerer, “Skyward” by Brandon Sanderson and “The Cruel Prince” by Holly Black. The company has included fun items like tapestries, candles, drink blends, water bottles, mugs and bath bombs.
One of Fairyloot’s closest competitors, OwlCrate similarly features up and coming young adult novels with exclusive, limited edition signed versions and items catered around themes like “Epic Adventures,” “The Dark Side,” “Murder and Mayhem” and “Across the Universe.” The company also has been releasing limited edition supersized boxes, centered around a novel highly anticipated by fans with up to nine items inspired by that book’s universe. Books like Holly Black’s “The Wicked King,” V.E. Schwab’s “Vengeful” and, coming in November, Maggie Stiefvater’s “Call Down the Hawk” have all been featured with items like tote bags, playing card decks, scarves and socks.
Once Upon a Book Club ($34.99+shipping/book)
This monthly subscription box makes unboxing an even more engaging experience for readers. The box comes with three to five wrapped items with tags of corresponding numbers to specific book pages in the accompanying book. As you read through the book, you’ll get a reward to look forward to opening once you reach an item’s page.
Chocolate and Book ($19.84/month)
As you might have guessed, this box sends along a handpicked book from the customer’s selected genre, along with some decadent chocolate and an accompanying warm drink like tea, coffee or hot chocolate. There’s nothing like a comforting afternoon curled up with a book, a box of chocolates and a warm drink to sip on.
The Book HookUp ($37.50-$50/box)
Although a little bit pricier than other options, this quarterly box is curated especially by the famous New York City bookstore the Strand and already includes shipping in the cost. They feature signed, first-editions of new releases with an additional paperback and other fun goodies. The Book HookUp has nine options of genres to choose from, including “Timeless Favorites,” “Feminist Literature,” and “Mystery & Suspense.” They’ve included titles by Flannery O’Connor, N.K. Jemisin and Marie Lu.
You might have to shell out a pretty penny to invest in these boxes, but they’re a worthy indulgence for the fellow bookworm. You receive a good amount of lovingly chosen items that you otherwise probably would not have bought on your own, but appreciate even more in conjunction with the box and accompanying book that is no doubt exclusive and special in its own way. As the market continues to expand, book box companies will continue to choose high quality books and unique and useful items to include, so you’ll be sure to come across a box you just can’t resist treating yourself to.
Hollie Lao is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.