You know theoretically, book boxes are the best idea ever. You get a box full of wonderful books and merchandise delivered to your doorstep and it makes you incredibly excited and happy. Unfortunately it doesn’t always turn out that way…
When I first got a book box I was absolutely over the moon ecstatic with all the books and goodies. It had been a struggle to find an affordable book box in India, at least like three years ago. But yes, it was a new experience and I loved it so much that I purchased another book box. And maybe another. But then I started to see the faults I had been trying to hide from myself. Book boxes are not for everyone, and it soon became clearer that they weren’t doing it for me.
To start with, book boxes curate some merchandise from varying fandoms ranging across genres or maybe a single genre. And it’s not possible for one person to know all the fandoms being referenced to. So often, merch and art prints become meaningless. Sure they might be pretty but do you really want or need them? And book boxes know this, which is why they try and limit their merch to popular fandoms so that most people can enjoy them. But in that case they run the case of becoming boring or repetitive.
Also, do we really use all the merch we get? I know I don’t. Either you have way too many items to get to use a new merch item or you don’t generally use it or maybe it’s just not functional. Once I got a beautiful wooden bookmark but whenever I tried using it, it would just fall out of my book because it was too damn thick. I often ended up hoarding such items as they collected dust.
Coming to the books. That was one of the main reason I purchased book boxes, because they offered new releases at affordable prices. It means a lot living in a country, or maybe just my city, where YA books rarely come in bookstores or even Amazon until a few months. But sometimes I found that my boxes got delayed or it so happened that the book would release at cheaper prices on Amazon before my book box arrived. This is the case with fewer book boxes but trust me, it does happen.
Over the time I simply couldn’t justify buying book boxes. I wasn’t always overjoyed at the things I received in them and in the end it ended up costing more because I was paying for merch I didn’t need or want, something that my mother was eager to point out. Maybe my experience would have been different if I weren’t an international reader. I’ve heard that book boxes arrive much more promptly in US and UK and even pre-orders arrive before the book release, not months after. But that’s another topic for another time!
Do you purchase book boxes? What have been your experiences with them?
Have you faced any issues with book boxes?
Do you think international readers are at a particular disadvantage when it comes to book boxes?