26 May 2017

Books n Beyond Box - The May Harry Potter Special

I am a sucker for monthly subscription boxes. As regular readers of the blog, you'll must have been subjected to a number of beauty and food subscription box reviews on these very pages. This is the first time I've subscribed to a book subscription box, and decided to review it on the blog. What motivated me you ask? Two words - Harry Potter.

Books n Beyond Box is one of the many book subscription boxes that have popped up in the country, over the past few months. This is not a novel concept abroad however, but shipping costs to India have deterred me from ordering in the past. Book subscription boxes fulfill your monthly quota of book shopping, by sending home a box filled with books and reading related goodies. Most book boxes contain a copy (or two) of the latest bestseller, reading related merchandise (such as bookmarks, book sleeves, notepads etc.), some snacks to nibble on while you read, and other assorted knick knacks.



Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a Harry Potter addict. Don't even want to check myself into rehab, no thanks! (Check out a fun Harry Potter related blogpost from the archives here.) So when I heard Books n Beyond Box was doing a special Harry Potter May edition, I signed up the next minute. Take all my money, gimme Harry Potter merchandise! 

Pre Verdict: The BnB Box team sent us individual mails mid-April asking us to sort ourselves into a Hogwarts house. The box would be customized according to what house we belonged to. (I was so tempted to chose Slytherin. But went with good ol' Gryffindor finally.) 
Post this we were subjected to an excruciatingly long wait, until they finally started shipping out boxes in early May. For some reason, my BnB Box took forever to arrive, with friends who had booked their boxes after me receiving theirs first. Their delivery service definitely has some minor flaws that need to be ironed out. Nevertheless the entire team was supportive during the delay, painstakingly tracking the whereabouts of my order, and apologizing profusely every time I bugged them.



Contents - The contents came packaged sturdily, and the box was filled to the brim. Here's what I got -
1. The New York Times Bestseller Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.
Now this is a book I would not have necessarily picked out at a book store. Which makes it great that I received it in my box, so that I can diversify what I am reading and try out newer authors. I guess that is the purpose of book boxes more than anything else - trying out newer authors and genres. Also the Goodreads rating on this book is a massive 4.5 and people seem to be gushing praises about it over the internet.

2. A Funko Pop character from the Harry Potter series.
I am so excited they decided to send over a cute, little Voldemort Funko Pop keychain. Now I know these are not adjectives you would associate with He Who Must Not Be Named, but look at the little fellow! 

3. A Time Turner Necklace
This beautiful golden pendant with movable sand and engraved rings is gorgeous! Not something I'd necessarily wear, but definitely a collectible that I'll treasure.


4. A Hand Made Pencil Wand by the Blithering Cannon
At first glance this looked like an ordinary wand to me, and I was not impressed. The fact that it's actually a pencil, and it is hand made makes this all the more special. Definitely not sharpening this pencil in the near future. 
To be honest, I would have loved an actual plastic wand that you get at many of the official Harry Potter merchandise stores. But this is pretty cool as well!

5. A Customized Coffee Mug
I've already started sipping my green tea from the mug. With quotes from Albus Dumbledore printed on there, who doesn't need this daily dose of motivation. 

6. House Exclusive and Customized Notebook
I got a scarlet red Gryffindor notebook. Everyone got different notebooks depending on the house they chose during their sorting.

7. Your Very Own Hogwarts Acceptance Letter
Now honestly, this was the item in the box that excited me the most. I've been dreaming of receiving my very own Hogwarts letter ever since I read the first book. It's a pity they never really sent it to me because I would've made for a great witch. 


8. Your Ticket for the Hogwarts Express
A one way ticket from Platform 9 and 3/4 to Hogwarts. All aboard!

9. Your House Virtue Fact Sheet
Self explanatory and pretty useless addition to the box.

10. Exclusive Collectible Bookmarks
The bookmarks are of pretty good quality, and not the flimsy foldable ones you get free with books. The fact that they have the Marauder's Map and The Daily Prophet printed on them makes them even better.



Final Verdict - Barring the issues that I had with the delivery and delay in receiving the box - I was pretty pleased with the BnB Harry Potter special edition. To be honest, I would've been pleased with anything Harry Potter related.
The box was priced at Rs. 1500/- which is totally worth it, if you're a Potterhead. Personalized letter, Funko figurine, and a Time Turner - what else does one want! Had I been paying Rs. 1500/- for a regular box with regular contents, I'd think twice. 
But then again subscription boxes are more than just their individual elements. It's a surprise gift to yourself, from yourself.

You can check out Books n Beyond on their website here.
This review was done anonymously and the views are unbiased. The author paid for her own box.

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