Book Box Subscriptions: Book Riot
Several months ago I signed up for a Book Riot quarterly box subscription and last week my first box arrived. With Father’s Day just around the corner, a book box subscription may be a perfect gift for the dad in your life.
I’ve been hesitant to sign up for any book subscription services because I don’t love the idea of someone else picking out my books. I’m picky and I generally don’t love the popular books that everyone else is reading. But the Book Riot box sounded interesting and arrives quarterly (at $50 per box). Each “Quarter” is designed around a specific theme and includes a personal letter and hand-picked items. See what I got and whether it was worth it after the jump — I don’t want to give away the items for those who have yet to receive your box so click more only if you want to see what items arrived in July.
The July theme was Technology and here’s what it looked like…
1. Two books: The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon and Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better by Clive Thomson. I haven’t read either but The Word Exchange looks kind of interesting. The cover quote from New York Times Book review says, “A nervy, nerdy, dystopic thriller.’ Smarter Than You Think is non-fiction and I don’t read too much non-fiction. With my ever expanding TBR, I’m not sure I’ll get to it anytime soon, but it gets some great reviews and is much higher rated on Good Reads than the fiction book. Both books come with a “bonus.” For The Word exchange, the bonus is a special coda written by the author exclusively for subscribers. The bonus for Smarter than You Think is an essay written by the author about reading War and Peace on his iPhone.
2. Grid-it Organizer. I personally don’t find this item too exciting. It’s essentially a board the size of a Kindle covered in elastics of different sizes that you can use to organize pens, phone, cords, and other gadgets. The description states that it’s a handy organizer that fits in your backpack, briefcase, or favorite bookish tote. Honestly, I couldn’t fit too much into it other than my phone (barely) and a few pens. I’ll probably never use it.
3. Pop Chart Lab Literary Genres Map: I liked this one. It’s a small poster with a flowchart of genres. It looks nice and it’s something I’ll hang up in my book nook.
4. $20 off the Book Riot Event registration in November. This didn’t feel like much of bonus. Basically a marketing tool to get people to register to their event. Although I guess if you were already planning on attending, it was a nice discount.
So was it worth it? I found the Grid-it organizer on Amazon for $6 although some vendors where selling it for as much as $16.65. The Word Exchange was $12.95 and Smarter than You Think was $15.24 on Amazon. The price listed on the back of the book was higher for both. The poster was created for Book Riot but the full size version was listed on Pop Culture Lab’s site for $30 — let’s assume the smaller version would cost approximately $15 (it’s about half the size. That brings us to a grand total of $49.19 – $59.19 depending on where you buy the Grid-it organizer.
But, don’t forget the $20 off registration for the Book Riot event. If you register it will cost you $169. Subtract your $20 savings and the whole box brings you to a deficit of close to $100. Unless you were already planning on attending the Book Riot event in November and haven’t yet paid for your registration. Then you get a value of $70-90 for your $50 fee.
So, financially this month wasn’t really worth it for me. I can’t say whether I was disappointed yet because it really does all hinge on the books. If they are good, then it’s all worth it. I’ll probably stick around for another box to see if I like the next theme more. The prior month’s box did looked pretty cool and interesting enough to keep me around another quarter.
Overall for this month: 3 stars. The rating could go up if I love either of the books.
If you want to try it out for yourself. You can find it on their website here: Book Riot Quarterly Subscription.
Do you get any subscription book boxes? If so, which are your favorites? I plan to try a few out and review them here. At some point I’ll compile the list. Which one should I try next?