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Book Riot Quarterly Subscription Box #08

Three months ago I received my very first Book Riot box. I was pretty disappointed and came close to canceling the subscription. You can read that review here. I still haven’t read either of the two books, never used the organizer, and haven’t framed the poster (although I plan to do so soon). Yet, I decided to give them another shot and yesterday I received my second box. Check out what came in the September box and whether I’ve changed my mind about the subscription.

The theme this quarter was campus life and here’s what I got:

bookbox

 

  1. Two books: Skippy Dies: A Novel by Paul Murray and On Beauty by Zadie Smith. Once again, I have not read either book. Book Riot took a big risk this month because both books have been out for a while so it’s likely that many people will have already read them. I may have been the only one in the world to dislike White Teeth  but I wanted to give Zadie Smith another chance and it turns out that On Beauty is a 1001 book. So I was pretty pleased about receiving it in the box. Skippy Dies is a book that has gotten good reviews (here’s the Washington Post review) and I’m looking forward to reading it. So overall, I’m very happy with both books. Skippy Dies came with a bonus graffiti-inspired art poster. Had I not read someone else’s tweet about this item, I would have missed it because it was taped to the bottom of the box under the packing materials.
  2. Custom Books Pennant: meh. This was a felt pennant to “decorate your dorm room (or your office, reading nook, whatever)…” I could take it or leave it. It’s cute with the theme, but not something I’d ever hang up in my office or reading nook (yes, I have a reading nook).
  3. 3-Pack of original Field Notes Notebooks: These are tiny – barely bigger than my iPhone. They are okay. I will probably use them but they are nothing mind-blowing.
  4. Read Harder Custom Koozie: Cold Beverage holder with the phrase “read harder” on the front. I drink a lot of ice tea and ice coffee so I’ll probably use this in my office.
  5. Book Riot Live $20 off coupon. I already bought my tickets so it was meaningless. Anyone else going?
  6. Bonus: 10 subscribers received a golden ticket for one personalized, signed first edition of Paul Murray’s new book, The Mark and the Void. I wasn’t one of them.

So was it worth it? The subscription costs $50 per box. Searching on Amazon I found comparable Koozies for around $6, Skippy Dies for $14.40, On Beauty for $15.30, and the Field Notes 3-pack for $9.95. The pennant was a custom design created for Book Riot’s box but I found similar custom felt pennants online for about $5.00. Total value comes out to $50.65. The $20 coupon to Book Riot live is nice but you can find that coupon on their site.

Overall, I was much happier with the box this quarter. Outside the books, most of the products weren’t things I would normally buy on my own but unlike last quarter’s box, I will use the products. I did like the books and look forward to reading them. I’ll probably stick around for one more quarter before making my decision about the subscription.

What do you think of this quarter’s box? Would it be worth it to you? If you want to try it for yourself, you can sign up here.

Stay tuned for more subscription reviews. I have signed up for a different service that will ship at the end of this month. It’s cheaper per box, but ships every 6 weeks. I am very excited about this subscription and I look forward to sharing which service I picked in a few weeks.

23 Comments Post a comment
  1. This is a cool idea. I probably wouldn’t sign up for it because I’m always broke so I’d rather spend the money on a sure thing than a gamble, haha! But I just wanted to endorse the “Field Notes” notebooks. I’ve been using them for a couple of years, and they are sturdy enough to bang around in my purse for the 6-8 months it takes for me to fill them with random reminders and notes. I don’t know if your pack is all ruled, but some are blank and some are graph paper and I think some are those scatterplot dots. Anyway, I like them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    September 18, 2015
  2. I’d love aa nice surprise in the post every now and again but I’m not sure they post to the UK and as you say, it’s a big risk to send out such backlist titles. I’ve read both of those!

    Liked by 1 person

    September 18, 2015
    • I agree, I was very surprised by the book selections. Last time they were new books. I don’t think they ship to the UK but I could be wrong. They do ship to Canada for an extra fee. With the extra shipping costs to Canada (which is right next door) it’s not worth it. However, check back with us in early October because I’ll be posting a review of another subscription service which does ship internationally and sounds very promising. Plus, it’s cheaper. We may look into UK subscriptions in the future as my co-blogger lives there.

      Liked by 1 person

      September 18, 2015
      • They ship to Australia surprisingly. Tanya, a booktuber, (ListObsessedReader), gets the quarterly box there. Shipping must be extra.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 18, 2015
  3. I disliked White Teeth too, so I’ll be interested to read your opinion of On Beauty when you get to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 18, 2015
    • I will let you know when I get to it. I have a crazy stack of books to get through in the next few months but hopefully before end of year, I’ll get to this one!

      Liked by 1 person

      September 18, 2015
  4. Nicole D. #

    What a RIP. But I didn’t like White Teeth either.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 18, 2015
    • Everyone raves about that book and I never understood why. I thought I must have missed something. I’m curious to see if I like this one.

      Like

      September 18, 2015
    • I’m with you, Nicole. $50 is a lot of money to most people, and frankly, can buy 3-4 very current e-books, so I would not be excited by this.

      Like

      September 19, 2015
  5. I’m a fan of the Book Riot site and have debated getting the quarterly box but ultimately decided against it. I live in Canada so there is an additional shipping charge of $20 or $25. So far, non of the contents in the quarterly box seemed like they were worth that much. I also find that often they have one newer book and one older one, which is fine except that the older ones I usually already own (i.e. On Beauty from this box, Clive Thomson’s book from the last one) or can find at book outlet (or my local used bookstore) for $5-7. Some of the bookish artsy things are cute but not something I would actually decorate with. Overall, I’ve been very underwhelmed with the contents. Still love Book Riot though!

    Liked by 1 person

    September 18, 2015
    • Yeah, so not worth if if you have to pay the shipping charges to Canada. I will probably cancel after the next box but will give it one more shot. This box was much better than the last one though

      Like

      September 18, 2015
      • Glad this one was a better deal for you this time. I love the idea of it – the whole element of a bookish surprise every few months is incredibly appealing.

        Liked by 1 person

        September 18, 2015
      • it’s a great concept although I’m very picky about my books and knowing that it’s a stranger picking out my books makes me hesitant. I’m mainly trying out a bunch of different services so I can review them on here. I’m feeling optimistic about the next subscription service (shipping Sept 30) because their past books have all been ones I have either wanted to read or did read and they are all new releases. I’ll be posting about that one in a few weeks.

        Like

        September 18, 2015
  6. I like the idea of a box like that but I’m not sure about the contents.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 19, 2015
  7. I read Skippy Dies. I’ll be curious what you think. Not a book I recommend around, but I do know a couple of people who loved it. This box idea doesn’t appeal to me. A lot of it just seems like extraneous junk to me. I’d like getting new titles that have been vetted, but old titles that have been out for ages – – um, for $50, no thanks. Also, I really am an e-reader girl, so this holds even less appeal. What I might pay $50 for is 6-8 “new this year” e-reader titles per month sent directly to my Kindle after being vetted by editorial people. Maybe.

    All that being said, I’m enjoying the posts about these boxes even while grumbling on your behalf!

    Liked by 1 person

    September 19, 2015
    • I think you would like the next service I will be reviewing! Early october

      Like

      September 19, 2015
  8. I loved the last box and thought this one was kind of …meh (although box number six was terrible). I keep getting them, though, because overall I’ve been able to either use or regift almost everything in them.

    Don’t know what I’m going to do with the Skippy Dies poster, though. I feel guilty throwing it away because I spent money on it but I’m certainly not going to hang it up!

    So far, I’ve only had one box where I haven’t read at least one of the books, and that was the one about reading outside your comfort zone.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 19, 2015
    • I guess we had opposite reactions since I didn’t like the last box and thought this one was better. That’s too bad to hear that you’ve always gotten boxes with books you’ve read before. That is a concern of mine but I’ve apparently been lucky. What was in box 6?

      Like

      September 19, 2015
    • oh, and I completely agree about the poster. I have no idea what to do with it. My 4-year old likes it so we’ll probably hang it up in her room

      Like

      September 19, 2015
  9. JoLene R #

    I also didn’t care for White Teeth — I just didn’t get what all the hype was about.

    I did get a box from a Paleo Bloggers. She did 4 boxes, but I only got 2 (missed the first 2). It was hit and miss for me with the actual products, but I did think that the value was over $50. It was fun to get exposed to some new things (like spices).

    I thought about signing up for a book one, but so far, I haven’t been impressed with the Book Riot or Book Riot YA contents. I’ll be interested to read about the other service you are trying!

    Like

    September 21, 2015

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