Book Riot Quarterly Box #2: Unpacked

Book Riot Quarterly Box 2

Book Riot is one of my favorite bookish websites. It has really fun content, and I love that they embrace all kinds of readers and styles of reading — from reading four romance novels a year to gorging on 150 classics a year. I was intrigued when they announced the launch of a Quarterly subscription service, and although I didn’t sign up for the first box, I liked what I saw enough to subscribe in time to receive the second box!

Here’s how it works. Book Riot has teemed up with a subscription company called Quarterly to bring awesome bookish goodies to subscribers four times per year. It costs $50 per quarter, and each subscriber receives a box containing at least one book and some great bookish stuff. (The contents of each box have a retail value exceeding $50, so you know you’re getting your money’s worth.) Additionally, Book Riot works with authors, publishers, and contributors to provide exclusive extras!

I was really excited to receive my first box yesterday. Why don’t we take a look at the contents?

Book Riot Quarterly Box 2

Judging a Book by its Lover: A Field Guide to the Hearts and Minds of Readers Everywhere by Lauren Leto: Essays on what it means to be a Harry Potter fan, tips for classifying other readers based on their favorite books, guides for faking that you’ve read particular books, rules for bookstore hookups, and much more. This isn’t a book I would have bought for myself, but I’m so glad to have received it! I actually started reading it last night, and it’s a ton of fun. For the Quarterly box, Leto wrote three extra “How to Fake Like You’ve Read ____” pieces just for subscribers.

Parnassus on Wheels by Christoper Morley: A 1917 novella about a couple who travels the countryside selling books from a horse-drawn wagon. I have read a few novellas and really enjoyed them, so I’m excited to try this one out! The story sounds like it’s beyond charming. Melville House, the publisher, also included a small “Read Everywhere” poster with a photo of a genuine old-time bookmobile on it!

Short Story Thursdays Digital Dispatch: A snazzy flash drive emblazoned with the BR and SST logos and loaded with two short stories and videos of Jacob Tomsky talking about how Short Story Thursday (a weekly email dispatch of short stories) began, reading to you, and sharing why he chose the two stories included. I haven’t checked this out yet, but it’s a really cool idea!

Book darts: Dart-shaped metal book clips to help you mark favorite passages in books without damaging them with pen/pencil. I like this concept and am looking forward to trying them out.

Banned books mug: A mug printed with the names of banned books! I’ve seen this mug online before, and I’m in love with it! I may or may not be drinking coffee out of it as I write this post.

Yay! Books! magnet: A magnet that says “yay books on it.” Pretty self-explanatory. It’s making my fridge look a bit happier.

I am really happy with this box! Both books are titles I wouldn’t have picked out for myself, but that I think I will really like. It’s sometimes nice to have someone else pick out books for you; you get exposed to some great stories you wouldn’t have read otherwise. The other goodies are nice, too. The short stories flash drive is original (and useful), and I’m probably going to use the mug every morning that it’s not sitting dirty in the sink. The book darts and magnet aren’t super exciting, but the darts are functional and the magnet is cute. This box was well worth the $50, and I can’t wait for my next one!

Who else subscribes to this? What did you think of your box?

If you would like to subscribe, visit the Quarterly site!

Book Riot Quarterly Box 2


26 thoughts on “Book Riot Quarterly Box #2: Unpacked

  1. Oh I might have to subscribe, that’s pretty cool! I had something similar to bookdarts way back in the 1990s early 2000s. I randomly find them now and again and think I should use them.

  2. That is pretty cool. “Beyond charming” is a perfect description for Morley’s Parnassus on Wheels. I read a few months ago and enjoyed every page, every word, just a delightful little story that I will reread many times. Their a second story, a sequel, sort of, The Haunted Bookshop, that is equally wonderful. I highly recommend both.

  3. I subscribe but I wasn’t so happy with the first box. So much so that I meant to cancel my subscription ($50 is a chunk of money!) but forgot. I sort of let this box come as it may but I’m glad I did because I like the content so much better this time! I’m going to stay subscribed (The enthusiasm that goes into each box and that kindred spirit feeling is reason enough) but I’ll use my own money (I’m a reading specialist) instead of my husband’s, so I don’t feel guilty!

  4. That does look like a fun box! I’m the sort who would rather choose just what I want than risk what someone’s choices might be for me (really not a risk taker!), but I’m sure these are great for the more adventurous type.

    I actually have some book darts and LOVE them–as long as the paper’s not brittle, they really do work and don’t tear the pages.

    Enjoy your new goodies!

    • I mostly like choosing for myself (which is why I’m not very interested in joining a book group), but these books are perfect! I trust Book Riot to pick great books.

      That’s good to hear about the book darts! I don’t like writing in hardcovers, so I’m looking forward to trying them out soon!

  5. What a cool concept. I didn’t even know this existed. While I might not spend $50 on these specific items, they do seem cool and a good value. And you can always re-gift or use for giveaways if you need to.

  6. Wasn’t it fun to open that box? I agree that it is good to have someone else pick out books for you. I almost never read anything meta. I skimmed Leto’s book and it looks wonderful. The section about a person’s favorite author was extremely entertaining.

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  8. I’m still torn about this. I’m considering signing up, but I already feel like I have a ton of books to read, so I don’t need more of those. And it makes me a bit nervous to spend $50 on a box of stuff that I might not like! This box looks like a lot of fun though, so I’m thinking about it. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  9. This is my second box – I was not happy at all with the first. I stayed subscribed because I hoped they would get better. This is only a slightly better box, in my opinion, but my expectations after that first box were much, much lower, so I wasn’t as shockingly disappointed.

    The thing is – for me, at least – Book Riot claims that you will receive more than $50 worth of bookish items. You don’t. Add up the prices of the items you receive, even making them full price, which you KNOW Book Riot doesn’t pay (some of these things are donated! The Melville House poster? I doubt Book Riot paid extra for that), and it’s less than $50. If they hadn’t said it, I wouldn’t be as disappointed. Secondly, the items they choose aren’t exactly inspired. The banned books mug is fun, but I’ve seen it in stores and not picked it up. The first month included a book a day calendar – again, not super original. I feel as though the items they choose could be a little less common for book lovers. Also, I already own Parnassus on Wheels. Bummer.

    Finally, it’s annoying that only some people get extra books. We all paid $50. They sent some people extra copies they (Book Riot) had lying around of early editions of books. Everyone should get the same box.

    Sorry, sorry, I know I’m cranky. I stayed for the second box hoping it would be way better than the first; I’m not going to stick around for Box # 3.

    • Sorry to hear you were disappointed. By my estimation, I got $50 worth of products, figuring $15 per book, $13 mug, $3 magnet, $3 book darts, $5-10 flash drive. Of course Book Riot isn’t paying full price for these items; they’re a business, and they need to turn a profit. But I do believe the retail value of these items is more than the $50 dollars I payed – plus the fun bonus content that doesn’t have a monetary value.

      I’m not disappointed by the originality of the contents. What type of things would this box need to contain for you to think it’s inspired? Keep in mind that they have to send out more than 1,000 boxes; a super unique Etsy product may not be realistic. I love the mug, and although a page-a-day calendar may not be the most exciting thing ever, it’s fun and would make a cute desk addition.

      I think the extra galleys are just a fun bonus. I didn’t lose anything by not getting one, I still got my $50 worth, and I’m sure the galleys were a fantastic surprise for the people who did get them.

      All that said, subscription services like this aren’t going to make everyone happy, and that’s understandable. I loved my box, but I can understand other people not being as thrilled by it. I suppose that if you’re unsubscribing, you can use that $50 on books or bookish things you know you want 🙂

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