As I've been putting together my 2018 (first quarter) bullet journal, listing out my monthly/bimonthly expenses in subscription boxes gave me the opportunity to evaluate. I love getting subscription boxes, but were there any I wasn't enjoying as much? Should I do a little more research in some categories?
I've decided that I liked my PageHabit subscription better in theory than in practice. I've gotten three boxes and would've rated all the books I got three stars (out of five) or lower. I wasn't raving about any of them. The author's notes were interesting or not interesting depending on the author and, frankly, some authors have atrocious handwriting and their notes were extraordinarily difficult to read. I also didn't dig the little gifties that come in the box. They weren't at all related to the books and just felt like someone threw them in because they felt they needed to. I began to feel like I was paying for things I wasn't actually getting much out of.
I'd also gone through my Kindle to find all the fiction books I've bought over the last few months that I hadn't gotten to read yet, and I've got quite a list. I debated cancelling a book subscription altogether.
On the other hand, I still like being exposed to authors and books I might not normally have read, and I have really enjoyed having a physical book again. It gives me a different feeling to sit in an armchair with tea and an actual book in my hand than it does to have my Kindle. (Don't get me wrong--the vast majority of my books are still Kindle as I like that a lot better for reading in bed and traveling.)
So I did a little more research.
I've now cancelled my PageHabit subscription and have swapped it out for the less expensive and solely-book-focused Book of the Month club.
Book of the Month Club sends you an email with five options, and you choose which one you want sent each month. If you don't want any of them, you can skip a month. You can add on another book for only $9.99, and for the add-ons you can either choose from the options for that month or selections from previous months. I like the flexibility on this one, and I love that I'm not paying for useless gifties. I don't need any more bookmarks, thank you very much!
They give you a decent amount of information on each of the five options every month: a brief essay about why the curator chose that book, a synopsis of the book, and a few paragraphs from the first chapter so you can get a sense of the writing style. They also save the books you've gotten to your "bookshelf," and you can do ratings and reviews. I don't see where I can see anyone else's ratings and reviews, but this would be a helpful way to keep track of what I've already gotten if I stick with the book club for awhile and have already sent books on to other homes after I've read them. I do GoodReads but it will be nice if I'm looking for what selections to make for future boxes.
My January box pick is As Bright As Heaven, as it falls into my current-favorite historical fiction category, and it's an exclusive early release for BOM Club subscribers. (It's not available until February everywhere else.) I chose Little Fires Everywhere from a previous month as my add-on--since it's my first month, I get one month free so all I'm paying this month is the $9.99 add-on cost. I've seen Little Fires Everywhere highly reviewed, so I bit. I should get them in a week or so, I'd think. Just enough time to finish the PageHabit book I'm still reading.
BOM can keep its prices low because there are no little gifties included in the box. It's just books. I'm good with that. I don't really need any more tschoske.
So--I'll keep you posted on how I feel about this one after a couple of months! Do any of you have a book subscription club? Which one? Do you like it? Why or why not? What's your favorite part of having a book subscription?
Have you read either of these books? No spoilers, please!