Are Book Boxes Worth Buying?

 

A few posts back I wrote a blog post on What I´d Like To See More Of In Book Boxes where I more or less give insight on what book subscription boxes are and why they don´t work for me. I also touched upon the fact that these magical boxes of bookish goods are a little expensive, which will be the main focus in this blog post-

 

Are Book Boxes Worth Buying?

 

Well? Are they? The short answer is- It depends on who´s buying. Personally, I think they´re overpriced, regardless of where you´re ordering from. Domestic orders aren´t as expensive as international orders ( damn those high shipping fees ) but they´re still not so cheap. With the majority of book box subscription providers wanting $29.99 per box, I´d say that´s just a * cough cough * rip off.

 

 

But that´s just my opinion. Of course, what I think isn´t world-shattering.

As I´ve mentioned in my other blog post, I´m not against these book box subscriptions. In a nutshell, the idea is fantastic. You pick & subscribe to a one month/6 month / 12-month book box plan and receive your monthly goods. It´s like seeing a beautiful shining object you can´t resist. The only problem I have is that the items in these boxes aren´t worth the amount they´re being sold for.

Let´s break this down a little to help paint out the picture a little better.

1 Book Box – $29.99 + shipping ( within the U.S. )

Contents of each box can vary but mainly consist of

  • book swag ( bookmarks, pins, magnets, pens, keychains, stickers, buttons, etc )
  • 1 paperback copy
  • samples of tea/cocoa, etc
  • a candle
  • item related to paperback
  • book/genre bound jewelry

Again- these items are usually in book boxes. Oftentimes boxes have fewer knick-knacks or are theme bound ( a fairy box, a bass-ass Heroine themed box, magical box, YA box ). Also, some boxes have mugs, fan art, or stationery sets ( depending on the box ). But for the sake of keeping this simple, we´ll just stick with what I´ve listed above.

So, with knowing this we can start to break down what these items are and where they come from.

  • book swag = often provided by an author
  • paperback = provided by author / publisher
  • jewelry = author/Etsy shop owner
  • candles = Esty shop owners
  • samples of tea & Co. = Etsy, Indie companies

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with these items and the sources they come from… there is something wrong with the calculation. Things just don´t add up.

Swag is basically an advertisement. An author spends money on giveaway items to give away. For free. These items, in turn, travel and therefore bring awareness to their brand/name/book. Not every author says ” If you´d like my swag then it´ll cost you.” ( more about that topic in a future post )

Etsy shop owners who offer their creativity for these book box companies are also investing to make money. They use this outlet as a form of making people aware of their products ( unless they sell their products to book box companies. That´s also a possibility ).

 

 

Now, the most valuable product in these boxes would be the physical book. Let that cost around 12 – 20 smackers ( I´m being generous here ).

Wouldn´t it be easier and cheaper to order a book online? I can buy 2-3 paperback books for the price of one subscription box.

According to my calculations, each book box should cost little to nothing ( since most of the items are author donations and come from smaller business owners ). I´m talking peanuts/buttons/pennies… Sadly, it doesn´t work that way. There is more to this. Because I can´t imagine a company working for free, no matter what they say.

What am I paying for when a book box mainly consists of free stuff? $29.99 would be a tad excessive for a book and shipping, wouldn´t you agree? ´Cause, you know, swag is supposed to be free.

The truth is- You´re paying for the packaging. The box and every little detail that´s printed on it. One should also consider storage ( if one is used ). Common sense tells me that I´m not far off by thinking most of them are actually making some sort of profit out of all this. Why bother otherwise? Once fix costs are covered then there will definitely be some leftover amount.

Now, for shits and giggles- Let´s imagine I´m way off the charts with this topic. Let´s say that book subscription providers spend money on every single item in their boxes. Things still wouldn´t add up. Then the book box they´re selling would be too cheap and therefore, these providers would drown in debt sooner rather than later. So, there has to be a financial gain in order to continue.

I know this is a lot of information to process at once. It´s a little confusing if you don´t lay out everything neatly. Let´s get back to my original question:

Are Book Boxes Worth Buying?

I´d say they aren´t worth the money. You´re basically paying someone to put a sample pack together that so happens to include a book. You´re paying high shipping costs ( especially international people ) to get a box filled with items you could easily get in a store or at an author signing. You´re paying for the book, regardless. Might as well save some money and order the book online or purchase it in a bookstore.

What about limited stuff? Collector items? Sometimes book boxes come with cool objects. I guess one could treat the goodies that come in these packages as collector items. But then again, we´d have to go back to the “what is the value of these items” and all that. Unless an item is a one of a kind / never to be produced again object then chances are – There´s little to no worth, other than emotional value. That´s not nearly worth 30 bucks + shipping for me.

All in all, book boxes aren´t really as worthy as they appear to be. At least not for me.

 

 

Despite my reluctance to see the beauty in all this I still understand why these book boxes are appealing to others. I get it. And I would never disrespect anyone by saying they´re fools for investing their hard-earned money in these magical bookish boxes. To each is their own. ❤ It´s still interesting to lay all the details out and see if I´m getting my money’s worth.

On a kind note: Not every book box company functions the same way. Just the majority. Should you feel you´re getting your money´s worth with the subscription you´ve signed up with then I´m happy for you.

 

What about you? Are you subscribed to a book box? What are your fav/least favorite items? Do you think the book boxes are worth the money? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤

 

That´s it for now, my dear bookish Padawans. I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Be sure to hit the like button if you did ❤

See ya next time!

Much book – love,

Book Review: Girl Defined – Kristen Clark & Bethany Baird

 

 

In a Culture of Distortions, Discover God-Defined Womanhood and Beauty

In a culture where airbrushed models and career-driven women define beauty and success, it’s no wonder we have a distorted view of femininity. Our impossible standards place an incredible burden of stress on the backs of women and girls of all ages, resulting in anxiety, eating disorders, and depression. One question we often forget to ask is this: What is God’s design for womanhood?

In Girl Defined, sisters and popular bloggers Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird offer women a countercultural view of beauty, femininity, and self-worth. Based firmly in God’s design for their lives, this book helps women rethink what true success and beauty look like. It invites them on a liberating journey toward a radically better vision for femininity that ends with the discovery of the kind of hope, purpose, and fulfillment they’ve been yearning for.

Girl Defined helps readers

– discover God’s design for femininity and his definition of a successful woman
– uncover the secrets of lasting worth, purpose, and fulfillment
– be equipped and empowered to live out a radically better vision for womanhood
– gain personal insight through the chapter-by-chapter study guide

 

 

 

Here we go again…

Another book from the radical Christian authors Kristen ClarkBethany Baird. Only this time I´ve decided to get myself my own copy ( since no one from my social circle has bothered to buy it yet ) and read more about true Christian values.

This isn´t me wanting to mock this particular group of fanatics. I have a genuine interest in other people´s beliefs, even if I find these beliefs to be bat-shit-crazy. ( just thought I´d get that out of the way before I continue )

So, after I read `Love Defined ` and having gone through one hell of an emotional hissy fit afterward ( read review here), I thought I´d give these fine authors another try. Everyone deserves a second chance, amirite? Have Kristen and Bethany published other books? Ha! They sure have.

`Girl Defined: God´s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity and Identity,  for example. The one I decided to purchase. I wanted to know what `God´s radical designs` were. 

I´ve tried my best to stay within the respectful boundaries with my thoughts on `Girl Defined` but can´t seem to find respectful words to describe the nonsense I´ve read. The only thing that comes to my mind is Jesus H. Christ.

The depiction of their ” God ” is a glorified schmuck. And these ladies apparently see themselves at the gateway to the Almighty. The advice given by these Christian fundamentalists in this book can be summed up in 4 points.

  1. Don´t have sex with anyone before marriage
  2. Equal rights are evil and should be banned from society
  3. Obey the male population. 
  4. To be a judgemental asshole is okay… As long as you´re a proper Christian

Do I find this helpful? I actually find this ridiculous. So much so that I had to call my mom ( who is a Christian, btw. Doesn´t share my nonreligious views but we were on the same page regarding this book ). How is it possible that there are people, especially women, who buy into all this? This book was designed to lure in innocent women into a cult.  This book has nothing to do with Christianity.

 

Bah, I´ve complained enough for now. It´s safe to say I won´t be giving these authors another go. I don´t think I´m able to handle more God´s word should always be above all shibaz.

I´m giving this sucker a solid…

 

 

Thank The Books It´s Friday

Hello and welcome back 

to

Thank The Books It´s Friday!

 

Boy, what a week it´s been, huh? Makes me really want to sit back and drink a whole bottle of wine alone and just think about how peaceful life is… offline. Let´s bring out the Friday squirrel to celebrate the weekend, shall we?

 

 

And while we´re at it, let´s hope no author on Twitter decides to make ungrateful statements for the next… I don´t know… 5 – 20 years? Possibly never again?

I´m sure you´ve seen the recent book Twitter shit-show created by the ( to me very unknown ) author Elizabeth Bear.

 

 

A kind reminder to people who tag authors in book reviews. How thoughtful. How ballsy. How generally rude.

Of course, I disagree on so many levels with this statement. The whole tweet is just a load of bullshit. It´s generalized and targets everyone in the book community. It´s also not specific enough. Are we talking all review posts or just the negative ones? I haven´t learned the art of sniffing out the specifics yet so it would´ve been slightly helpful if the author had been more clear instead of presenting a limited and highly unprofessional tweet.

This tweet caused quite a bit of a stir in the book-Twitter community. Book bloggers, authors, and even readers stepped forward to voice their disapproval. I can´t blame them. The tweet was a virtual slap in the face. Oh, speaking of face slaps… After having followed the thread for some time I spotted something even more disappointing.

 

 

Neil Gaiman, too?! Bitch, that burned.

 

This is, without a doubt, a touchy subject. It shouldn´t be, though. For all I know, the majority of the book blog community isn´t fishing for praises, compliments or even acknowledgment when tagging authors in positive review posts. Tags aren´t meant to cripple authors emotionally or piss them off.

I mean- sure. Authors have the right to voice their opinions. Go ahead and do your worst. But if that means pissing off a huge chunk of the book community then I´d say that´s not the way to win new readers or keep the ones that´ve been loyal ( indirectly waving at you, Neil Gaiman ).

A piece of advice for Elizabeth Bear: Try not to speak for all authors next time. Also-socializing is wonderful but not mandatory. A simple mention in your bio would´ve prevented a whole lot of backlash.

 

 

Uugh. See? A royal shit-show. People, we´re not even halfway through February and there´s already drama. I recently made a bet with a fellow book blogger on when the next literary shit will hit the fan… My bets were on late Spring, early Summer. * sigh *

 

So what else is new?

 

Oh! I´d like to give a loud Fuck you, very much to my daughter´s friend and their mom for giving me and the kids Scarlet fever. I´m on day 4 with a temp of 39°. I feel like I can fry eggs on my skin at this point. To be honest- I never thought adults could catch the Scarlet fever. I was wrong. I was also wrong to think this would pass quickly. As of now, I´m sofa bound with nothing to do but snooze off a few times during the day from being so exhausted and suffering during the night. Yes, dear friend´s mom… I hate you with a passion.

I decided to go online book shopping tomorrow. Deep down I know it´s just frustration shopping but at this point- I don´t give a rats ass.  * purposefully ignoring the stack of unread books next to me *

 

That´s about it for this week, my dear bookish Padawans. I hope you didn´t suffer too much through this minor aggressive post. My apologies. I´m not feeling so hot. I´m actually burning!

 

Before I go: Did you watch the Twitter show? What are your thoughts on the author´s tweet? Should authors make such demands? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat ❤

 

Sending out lots of health and great positive vibes!

Enjoy your weekend.

Much bookish love,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Call It What You Want – Brigid Kemmerer

When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship…

This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?


 

Och no.

A young adult romance is not what I wanted. It´s not what I expected.

Call It What You Want by author Brigid Kemmerer ended up being the type of read I couldn´t enjoy. For one- the story felt like it lacked structure.

There was a whole lot of everything all over the place overshadowing the plot.  I didn´t necessarily appreciate the dramatic events that happened to the main characters as they felt like they only existed to gain a reader’s sympathy. I would´ve loved to read a story instead of being pushed to feel for a character(s) from start to finish.

And because of the lack of story structure, I wasn´t able to see a story development. I like a story to gradually grow and for it to have a nice climax. There has to be a peak at some point. Sadly, I didn´t come across one.

It´s really disappointing because after all that was revealed I would´ve expected some kind of massive explosion and not the lukewarm handshake type of ending.

All in all, I wasn´t impressed.

This was my second Brigid Kemmerer read and probably my last.


 

Would I recommend this book? I know of many readers who´d love this type of read, so yes.

Would I reread this book? No. I´m not interested in this type of YA read.

 


 

The Cover:  5 Stars – I was blindsided by the cover.

The Story:  2 Stars – Uugh, I can´t.

The Characters:  2 Stars – I think it says a lot if you don´t give a hoot about the Hero or Heroine.

My emotional state after finishing this read – Nope.

 

Should you still feel like this romantic YA read would be something you´d enjoy then feel free to click here.

 

Book Shaming A Reader

 

“She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.” –

Annie Dillard in The Living

A beautiful quote fitting for most book lovers. There´s just something magical about reading. Whether it´s a romance, horror, Young Adult or a fantasy novel… There´s always magic waiting to reach our hearts and minds.

The other day I had a lovely chat with a fellow book blogger about books. We covered everything book related. At some point, I asked about her current read. She refused to tell me.

 

“I´d rather not say.”

 

What?! I mean, come on. We´re not sharing intimate secrets with each other. I don´t want to know how many people you´ve buried in your backyard. It´s just a book. When I asked why she answered with this:

 

“Because you´ll just make fun of me.”

 

My actual response

 

If the book blogger knew me better she´d have known I don´t judge people´s reading tastes. Never have and never will. I would never want to make any reader feel guilty for the books they read or the genres they enjoy.

It was clear someone must have done this or else the book blogger would´ve been more forthcoming with the book title.

The book blogger, a grown woman, was shamed after mentioning her favorite books-The Twilight Saga – in an online book group. Book lovers book shamed a book lover?

 

 

I´ll admit, I don´t have the hots for the Twilight books. I read them. I saw the appeal. I never belonged to the fan brigade, though. I even watched the movies ( which weren´t my cup of tea, either ). But does that give me the right to shit on someone´s favorite books? Absolutely not. Anyone who comes to my house and takes a good look at my bookshelf will see the Twilight Saga– all four books. So?

I read 50 Shades of Grey because I was told the sex in the books was out of this world ( I´m a HUGE fan of book sex ). I ended up actually liking the story. Shit on my reading tastes, for all I care- It doesn´t change the fact that the story wasn´t the worst that´s ever been published.

90% of the books I read are considered worthless by all sorts of self-proclaimed book experts because they´re not ” proper literature “.

 

 

When someone mentions a book or a genre I´m not a fan of then I won´t shame them. Instead, I´ll just think  “Oh, so she/he likes vampire romances/smut/whatever. That´s interesting“. Because that´s just what it is- Interesting. Different people, different tastes.

 

It´s the fact that you´re reading that´s important. Not the book or genre.

 

 

From what I´ve gathered, many book people like to hold the “You´re not a true bookworm if you haven´t read…” card in people´s faces. I´m sorry, but YOU DO NOT have to read Jane Austen´s books or Kafka´s works in order to call yourself a proper bookworm. You´re still one if you stick with modern novels only. YOU READ an old ham when and if you feel like it.

This really ticks me off because the emotional damage these people cause is unbelievable.

There are popular and less popular books and book genres. Romance is the least popular book genre ( yet it´s the most profitable ). Knowing that will not keep me from reading romances. I do not read certain books for the sake of wanting to belong.

 

“Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part, I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.”

– Voltaire

 

If your passion is YA fiction then I´m more than happy to share the excitement with you, even if I´m not as passionate about the genre as you are. The same applies to every other genre or book.

Book shaming is such a shameful act. How highly these book people must think of themselves when they attack someone´s reading tastes. And how little they know about the effects their words have on others.

To people who book shame…

 

 

My hope for the future is that the book community finds a way to respect one another and their reading choices. This book-universe can be such a beautiful place if we all allow it to be.

After a while, the book blogger FINALLY revealed the book title she didn´t want to share.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig. A YA, fantasy retelling.


 

Dear book people,

Book shaming is toxic. It doesn´t need to happen. Instead of judging someone´s reading taste we should be celebrating the fact that we share the same passion- Reading books.

 


What about you? Have you been book shamed before? Do you know someone who´s been book shamed? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤

 


Thank for reading my blog post. I truly appreciate it.

Much book love,