Why I Don’t Buy Book Boxes Anymore

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?

26 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Buy Book Boxes Anymore

  1. I don’t really buy book boxes, but I have bought a couple as one-off purchases for exactly this reason: I want to make sure that I want the book and enough of the bigger items in the box that I feel the price is worthwhile. I definitely am not paying $45 to get things I won’t use or merchandise from fandoms I don’t follow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, book boxes aren’t my thing either.. mostly as the popular ones are fantasy, and we know I don’t read that genre. Furthermore, I agree with you- while I enjoy looking at unboxing of them, generally im liking only 2 or 3 items that’s portraying a book I didnt even read 😂🥲

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Book boxes haven’t been my thing for a really long while. Also some of the book box exclusive covers only look pretty because of this like “wow, new and unique!” factor but the longer I stare at them the more I realize the original covers are much, much prettier sksksksk.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Omg yes, so true! I mean you can collect them(I’m not a huge collector tbh) but then you can’t deny that the original covers are often prettier lol.


  4. I love book boxes, but I’ve realized the same. I have so many that are still in their boxes because I either didn’t care for the book or didn’t care for the extra stuff. I’ve had Owlcrate for about five years now and it’s gotten a bit much. I use to want to collect them all but it’s just creating clutter now that I think about it.

    And of all those years I think there’s only like 3 items I really really liked. Plus the prices have gone up.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I never bought one and I do not see myself ever buying one because they are way too expensive for me. I see some goodies I would love (like a Darius The Great Is Not Okay mug included in one of RainbowCrate book-boxes), but even the single item is too expensive if one adds the shipping fees which are somewhat always more expensive than what one wants to buy. Anyway, yes, we, as international readers, are always at a disadvantage, in all matters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the price is also a huge point! Omg yeah this one time I saw a little women or maybe simon scarf in a box and I was ready to beg them to sell it separately but it didn’t happen 😥

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m lucky enough to be living in the UK now so I have access to plenty of book box subscription companies. But just like you mentioned, there are definitely pitfalls to them. I rarely use any of the merch I get from them and I find they’re actually overpriced – I can get books for cheaper if I just buy them from Amazon instead of through a book box (but yes, the cover designs and the special editions are only available if I choose the book box option).
    I’m always so tempted by the surprise of the book and how pretty it will look but now that I’ve read your post, I’m going to stand strong with my conviction to not subscribe again so thank you for that motivation!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, exactly! I feel like in the uk merch is so much more accessible. In India we often rely on boxes only because merch is rarely to be found separately.
      Awww, I’m flattered that my post had such an effect on you ❤


  7. When I first started blogging I discovered book boxes .. really the only time that I bought them was for my birthday one year. I think I bought 5 boxes at one time and I quickly realized that I didn’t like not being able to control what ‘extras’ I got. A lot of that stuff I never used. If I ever do a book box again, I’ll get one where it’s just books you get. Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wow. Yeah, that makes sense. I think I saw some fandom boxes floating around which just cater to one fandom and that still makes a little more sense.
      Yeah, I don’t know any where I like but I think there are a couple of boxes like maybe Book of the Month that only do books and that sounds awesome!
      Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I never bought book boxes because k couldn’t afford them and could really justify it either. Why spend that much if I won’t even like the items or don’t know the fandom? I have a relative who’s really into book boxes and often times she would tell me how she’s thinking of selling the merch she wasn’t apart of the fandom of or asked me if I wanted something. Sure some companies will say what fandoms it might include but personally I would want to actually see what I’m getting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! I splurged once or twice but like you said, I wasn’t able to justify it. Oh yeah, that’s what happens. I see a lot of people further selling that merch which is great I guess but I don’t think they get back the money they spent on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve not really wandered into the realm of buying bookcases because I don’t hardbacks and the books are nearly always hardbacks so like…why would I pay for something when I don’t like the physical format? Aside from that one thing, I also wasn’t a fan of how much merch there used to be in book boxes for HP. Even before everything, I’ve never been a HP fan and I didn’t care for the HP merch so it was another reason majority of book boxes didn’t appeal to me.

    I would say though International readers are at a disadvantage, simply because a lot of book boxes that are popular happen to be based in either UK or US. Those that aren’t based in either of those countries, I’d imagine their outlay costs to buy in the book stock, the merch and everything would be pricy because of shipping and what not? I’m basing this off of how US/UK centric the book industry is, and the fact shipping boxes of books and other items to someone for stock is going to be hefty of the price. However I would love if that could be a thing, simply because it would make things more accessible for people and it would give people more options for where they want to spend their money. At the moment I can think of 3 book boxes off the top of my head and that’s it, even though I know there must be more. (Owlcrate, Fairyloot and BookHooked). I feel like I went off on a tangent but the prices of book boxes are not cheap and when half the items in them feel useless/pointless, the price tag no longer feels justifiable.

    Liked by 1 person

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