I love getting things in the mail. I think it maybe started when I was a kid and we had a book that was all about free stuff for kids that you could get if you wrote to companies, governments, non-profits etc. Amazon still has a listing for the book (circa 2002): Free Stuff for Kids. I guess now instead of writing a letter kids would just fill out an online form?
I also have fond memories of surprise bags at the local drug store. For 50cents or a dollar (or more?) you’d get a bag of stuff. Usually they were candy bags, sometimes it was decent, sometimes it was weird. It was a surprise everytime.
Now as an adult my mail and surprise bag loves have evolved into ordering subscription boxes. Recently I discovered The Time for Reads Box by The Not Busy Company. This is a book subscription box and Canadian company (double awesome).
The Time for Reads Box is different from some other book boxes that I have seen (and subscribed to) in that it has books, tea, and treats. Just that. No extra knick knacks, candles, socks or stuff (although I do really love socks). This one is also a bit different in that it’s designed to cover two months at a time – two books, two teas, two treats, and chocolate (of course). It also appears that each box will be slightly different based on your reading interests, which I though was brilliant!
Here’s how it worked for me:
I logged onto the site and chose the box. I didn’t realize that I chose “surprise me” for the genre for both books (but it worked out ok – more on that in a minute). Genre options include: thriller/mystery, romance, science fiction/fantasy, and literary fiction.
Then I chose the term for the subscription, I went with just a single box for this time.
Entered my details and waited for the box to arrive (shipping to Canada was included in the price – another big advantage to this box).
Linda, the book curator (possibly also the owner?) for The Not Busy Company reached out to me shortly after I placed the order to get a bit more information from me on what I liked to read which was really cool!
My box arrived in mid July, roughly three weeks after I ordered. Opening this box up was lovely – everything was individually wrapped in tissue paper making it even more of a surprise.
Both books were ones that I hadn’t read: The Orphan Thief (World War 2 historical fiction/romance, like a Hallmark Movie in book form) and Wolf Hall (I’m still making my way through this book – it is huge!).
The tea selection included a black tea and fruit/green tea (which made great iced tea), the treats were gourmet popcorn, and a very nice dark chocolate bar as well. I really liked that the explanation of what everything was came rolled up, scroll style, with “spoiler” written on it so that I didn’t read what everything was before I could open it. The final touch was a short handwritten note from Linda.
This box is fairly pricey at $99, plus tax, when you first look at it BUT since it is two months worth of reading and snacks/tea the cost is worth it. I will certainly be ordering again, but first I need to finish Wolf Hall! I think the only thing I would change is to have a sweet and salty or savoury snack, just to add a bit of variety.