Every avid reader’s dilemma is which book to read next and if you are anything like me, you probably always end up overwhelmed with all the choice. If left to me, I would probably read only fiction and fantasy, never getting out of my comfort zone and a select choice of authors. If you have suggested me a book and I haven’t gotten to reading it, trust me, it’s not your fault. I gravitate towards books in an unexplained way, choosing books on a whim, often without a method or logic. It is not bad but it sometimes leaves behind a feeling of dissatisfaction. But, every now and then, I wake up wishing that someone else could pick books for me, buy it for me, lay out a spread of candles, coffee and cake and make my weekend completely cosy and joyful. I got carried away there, didnt I? Okay, on a more serious note, it is refreshing to read a book that I haven’t stalked on Goodreads, read parts of it / review of it on some else’s social media feed, basically read things with a clear slate, or rather a clear mind. Read something without my preconceived notions and prejudices. And which is exactly why, The Bookling’s CrateMakers of Mystery and Magic Box was a happy, happy experience for me.
What and Why: If you are unfamiliar with the idea of Book Subscription Boxes, here is the concept explained in brief. It is a curated collection of books along with merchandise/book themed goodies, selected with diligent care, often around a pre-decided theme, and shipped to a subscriber at fixed intervals. You can even order such boxes on a one-time basis from such subscription providers. Carefully selected books are the highlight of the box, but can you resist the charm of nice little something like a Harry Potter themed T-shirt or a pouch, or such themed jewellery and accessories. I think a careful selection of books and goodies can do wonders to the tired soul of a bibliophile, after the wear and tear of our mundane lives. It is a gift I would love when I am in dire need of some TLC. And the merchandise keeps the fanboy/fangirl inside us alive! I suppose there is no need for further elaboration of my fascination with the Makers of Mystery and Magic Box – March Edition. Here is what it contained:
- Book 1 – The Hazelwood by Melissa Albert
- Book 2 – The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale
- Premium Designed – Harry Potter T-Shirt
- Dragon Necklace
- Apple Vanilla Summer Candle
- Art Poster from Six of Crows
- Pin Badge – As Travers
- Bookmark with Night Circus Quote
Packaging: The books and goodies came wrapped nicely in bubble wrap. What I loved was that care taken to make sure nothing gets damaged in transit. Especially books. Nothing annoys a booklover more than oddly bent covers and damaged binding. But, I have no complaints about how the box was packed.
The Books: Let us first talk about the books. As much as the goodies make me feel like an excited 10-year-old, it would be a disappointment if the books didn’t live up to my lofty expectations. I can gladly say that it is not the case here. Both books are new arrivals, published early this year. The first book was The Hazelwood by Melissa Albert. The Hazelwood falls into the category of classical Portal Fantasy, the same genres as the Magicians and the Chronicles of Narnia, and of course, the Harry Potter Series. It is a genre that some regard as to be written for children. However, I beg to differ. There is a certain thrill in stumbling upon a portal that leads you to another world. In The Hazelwood, a seventeen-year-old Alice reluctantly ventures into a Grimms’ Fairytale-ish world to rescue her mother who has been taken. After a childhood that she and her mother spend running from bad luck which seems to be uncannily at their heels, she discovers that she isn’t a complete outsider to this dark world. Even if you aren’t particularly into the YA genre, this book is a good adventure to embark upon, I think.
The second book in the box was The ToyMakers by Robert Dinsdale. In one sentence, The Toymakers pulled me into my childhood and stole my heart. Set in Papa Jack’s Toy Emporium, the book is nothing short of Magical Wonderland. If I were a curator, this book would have definitely most definitely made into my box too! A rich and imaginative story that will appeal to both young adults and more serious senior readers. A short review would do more injustice to the beautiful book so I will say this until my full-fledged review – The book makes you feel all the feels. Feeling awed by the magic, enthralled by the charms of the wonderland, but with that, it also, hope and sadness. I don’t feel comfortable rating the book in stars, but this book is one of those that deserve 5 stars! It fits the theme of the box perfectly.
Bookish Merchandise: Now, let’s come to my favourite part of book boxes – Goodies!! I don’t have enough words to tell how much I loved it. That cute Dragon / Owl Necklace is super cute, it is accompanying me on many an outing for sure. The candle smells amazing!! Don’t tell me such beautiful things don’t bring you joy. As much as I find reading ebooks convenient and hassle, I cannot lie about how pampered and loved these goodies made me feel.
How to Subscribe: The Bookling’s Crate has a wonderful Website where you can look up the past and the upcoming boxes here. Their theme for the month of May is “Once upon a Dream”. If you are an intense reader / here only for the books, there are options for that too. If you have bibliophiles for friends, they would be thrilled receive one of these as gifts. I know I would for sure. And before I forget, you can avail a 10% discount on the Bookling’s Crate’s premium and pocket-friendly plans by using the CODE Srujan10. You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and stay updated!
Disclaimer: Much Thanks to The Bookling’s Crate for the much-loved Box filled with Books and Goodies. All opinions shared herewith are mine and completely honest and heartfelt.