Oh, monthly subcriptions! There’s a subscription for everything these days whether it’s Loot Crate or Ipsy or the Dollar Shave Club. I guess I just really love getting a box of stuff each month, but at least I’m not alone. I notice on social media that a lot of my friends are receiving subscriptions too, and my own posts tend to get a lot of questions about my thoughts on what I’ve received. Well, wait no longer. I have three months worth of subscriptions to talk about today. Hold onto your butts!
The Bookish Box: February 2016
The Bookish Box’s February theme was “Galentine’s Day.” The goodies included: A T-shirt with a quote from The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a tote bag, Book Club Notes, a bookmark, a keychain, and a Parks & Rec inspired magnet that was in the bottom of the box and almost got thrown away.
I was a little underwhelmed by my first Bookish Box which got its own blog post review. This box was better. I definitely felt there was more value in this box at least based on my knowledge of what t-shirts and tote bags run on Zazzle or a similar site. I still found myself wondering “Is this worth $29.99 a month?” I decided to give the Bookish Box one more month, and then I would try a different subscription just to mix things up.
The Bookish Box: March 2016
March’s theme was “Debut Novels.” This month brought Bookworm Sticky Notes, a Quote Bath Bomb, button earrings covered in dictionary print fabric, a throw pillow cover featuring a quote from An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahr, and as always, a t-shirt, this time featuring a quote from Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon. Honestly, the Bookish Box got better every month. I probably don’t need a t-shirt every month though. Especially since none of the featured books have been ones I’ve read.
Storyed: April 2016
I went looking for a different box for April, and I wondered if anyone was peddling a box for writers yet. Sure, writers are readers, but you’d still maybe put something a little different in a writer box than in a reader box. So, I went searching and found Storyed which not only promised a monthly delivery but also downloadable writing prompts!
I decided before receiving my box that it would be my last. “Nikki! How could you make such a premature evaluation?” you ask. Without giving too much away and much to my surprise, I came into contact with the curator of the box as part of my day job, and that interaction lead me to decide that this was not the kind of operation that I want to support long term. I told myself to wait it out. Maybe the box would come and be awesome, and I would change my mind because really, what I had experienced wasn’t that bad necessarily.
Then the box came. Or should I say the padded envelope came. Inside was the book above and the notepad. No little note about this month’s box. Nothing about the writing prompts. “Well, maybe you have to go online and enter something on their website to get the prompts,” I thought. I went to their website, and it’s offline. “We’re temporarily closed! PSSSSST: If you’re the owner of this store, click here to login to the merchant portal.” Now I’m wondering if I was on to something by doubting this subscription.
Part of Storyed’s appeal to me, aside from the promised writing prompts that I’m not going to receive was the fact that it was $20 plus shipping. Now, was it worth it? Maybe technically. A paperback runs about $12-$15 and a novelty notepad is maybe $5? Ballpark figures? I feel like the presentation is really lacking, and it’s almost like they knew they were going out and were like “Well, we’ve got these leftovers. Let’s send those out.”
Also, maybe it’s just me, but who is Steven James? Why should I take writing advice from someone I’ve never heard of? My favorite Stephen King book is On Writing. I subscribe to email updates from Chuck Wendig, and I follow Delilah S. Dawson on Twitter. I take writing advice from these writers to heart. Why them and not Steven James? Because I’ve read Stephen King, Chuck Wendig, and Delilah S. Dawson. I like what they do, and that gives their word value in my eyes. But Steven James? Don’t know a thing about him. Now, I did just look him up on Amazon, and it looks like he has published a number of books with covers that remind me of James Patterson. Maybe I’m being harsh. Maybe I’m jaded by the experience I had with the curator. Storyed just didn’t do it for me.
So, that’s my last three months of book type monthly subscriptions. I was severely disappointed by April’s offering. Things might be changing in my position at work, and money is a little tight right now due to the car payment I picked up this fall, so I think I’m going to lay off the subscription boxes for a little while. Rumor has The Bookish Box’s May box is going to be Harry Potter themed, so I think I’ll go back for that one, and then take my hiatus.
Do you subscribe to a monthly bookish or writerly box? Tell me about it! This hiatus isn’t going to last forever!