Blue Spider's Attic is a new box for me this month. The box is $21.99 with $7 shipping. The tagline for the company is "The magic of a used bookstore, delivered."
I have been looking for a paperback book subscription box for awhile and when I found this one last month, I had to try it. As a bonus, they send used books. You get to give books a new home where they are properly appreciated. I always feel like I'm saving books from being homeless when I buy them from a used bookstore, so this really appealed to me. I was expecting books that were well loved, and I was surprised in that regard - the books look brand new. Frankly I was surprised about a lot of things with this box, and it's going to be one of my regulars. Enough spoilers, however.
On to the box!
The box is a plain cardboard box with stickers from the company on it so you don't have to wonder who is sending you a package and whether or not you actually know anyone in that city. It got a little dinged up in transit, but nothing was damaged and that's the purpose of the box!
Opening it up, there was another sticker and everything was wrapped nicely in tissue paper.
Underneath the tissue paper were more packages!
Here's everything all semi-neatly presented. I'm trying to take better pictures for you guys, I just don't have the area quite setup yet. Soon though! Anyway - Look at all this stuff! Wow!
Here's a close up of the piece of paper detailing all the goodies. I did not indicate when I signed up that I was a coffee person, so the "extra goody" was not present in my box. I find this to be superb. While extra stuff is always spiffy, they didn't send me something that would have otherwise gone to waste and I really appreciate that! Yay for paying attention to customer preferences!
And here's a better picture of all the goodies without the info sheet in front of it.
Three different packages of tea were included. I've never been a tea person before, but I'm going to give it a try again as I've found a lot of things that I used to think were yucky (like lemonade) are starting to taste really, really good. I'm not sure about the spicy, but I will probably try the "wild chaild" - how punny is that?! :D
Up next is the necklace. It comes in a pretty, reusable gift bag.
I couldn't get a real good shot of the necklace, but the cord is sparkly and the little teapot is quite shiny. It's a nifty little necklace. It's not my style though, so I put it back in its packaging.
Then came the bookmark. On one side is this C.S. Lewis quote, which I really, really like:
And on the other is this saying and image. Also very nice!
A little tea spoon was also included. The spoon part (as opposed to the handle) is in the shape of a flower. It's quite pretty!
Alice in Wonderland bubble bath! If the little one doesn't get to this first, I will definitely use it. It's light and semi-fruity smelling and it made me just want to curl up and read smelling it. Honestly, in a book subscription box, anything that makes you want to read more is always a plus!
Here's the back of the package with a link to the store that made the product. They sell bar soap in the shape of books and bath salts that are meant to correlate to different books/ themes.
All the books came in these lovely paper bags designed to look like old newsprint. I've kept all the bags. I know that they will come in handy for some kind of craft project. They're just too cool!
Let me first say that I have never even heard of any of these books, but after reading the backs, they definitely seem right up my alley. It's nice to be able to stay in my preferred reading genres and still get books and authors that are wholly new to me.
Book 1: Wide Open by Deborah Coates. This book literally looks like it's brand new. It has zero shelf wear, no damage to the book whatsoever. All the books included are like this. I was actually rather looking forward to giving some beat up books care and love, but this was also a nice surprise. This is book one in a series of three and it came out in 2012. The paperback sells for about $5 plus shipping, new.
Admittedly, this one sounds a little cheesy, but I love a good cheesy novel. In addition to some cheese, it's also got mystery and paranormal/ sci fi aspects to it.
"When Sergeant Hallie Michaels comes back to South Dakota from Afghanistan on ten days' compassionate leave, her sister Dell's ghost is waiting at the airport to greet her.
The sheriff says that Dell's death was suicide, but Hallie doesn't believe it. Something happened or Dell's ghost wouldn't still be hanging around. Friends and family, mourning Dell's loss, think Hallie's letting her grief interfere with her judgment.
The one person who seems willing to listen is the deputy sheriff, Boyd Davies, who shows up everywhere and helps when he doesn't have to.
As Hallie asks more questions, she attracts new ghosts, women who disappeared without a trace. Soon, someone's trying to beat her up, burn down her father's ranch, and stop her investigation.
Hallie's going to need Boyd, her friends, and all the ghosts she can find to defeat an enemy who has an unimaginable ancient power at his command."
Book 2: Crime School by Carol O'Connell
This one also looked brand spankin' new. It's book six in the Mallory series, but from what I read it can be read as a standalone book. It's recommended on Amazon for people who like Stieg Larsson's books, and that's definitely an author I was into (before he passed). The trade paperback sells for $6.95 new, plus shipping, but this is a full sized paperback/ not pocket paperback, which I could not find a listing for, for a new copy at any rate. This book came out in 2013.
"For readers of Stieg Larsson: the sixth Mallory novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Chalk Girl—in trade paperback for the first time.
Police Detective Kathleen Mallory recognized the dead call girl. It was someone from her past, a woman who protected her on the streets of New York—and who betrayed her. Mallory also recognized the crime scene: victim hanging, hair in mouth, fire burning. It happened twenty-one years ago, when Mallory was a child. Now—whether it’s the work of a copy-cat killer or a serial murderer—it has happened again.
Kathleen Mallory’s past has finally caught up with her."
And finally, last but not least, book three in the box: A City of Broken Glass by Rebecca Cantrell. This one was reprinted in 2014. It's a period piece set during World War II, a time period I am quite partial to reading about. Again, I could only find the trade paperback price new and that's $3.60. Unfortunately this is book 4 in a series of 4 books, but again, it looks as though it can be read as a standalone novel, so I'm willing to overlook the fact that it's not book one - plus, this box, I feel, has special circumstances, since you're not getting new books going in (though they sure do look it!).
"In Rebecca Cantrell's A City of Broken Glass, journalist Hannah Vogel is in Poland with her son Anton to cover the 1938 St. Martin festival when she hears that 12,000 Polish Jews have been deported from Germany. Hannah drops everything to get the story on the refugees, and walks directly into danger.
Kidnapped by the SS, and driven across the German border, Hannah is rescued by Anton and her lover, Lars Lang, who she had presumed dead two years before. Hannah doesn't know if she can trust Lars again, with her heart or with her life, but she has little choice. Injured in the escape attempt and wanted by the Gestapo, Hannah and Anton are trapped with Lars in Berlin. While Hannah works on an exit strategy, she helps to search for Ruth, the missing toddler of her Jewish friend Paul, who was disappeared during the deportation.
Trapped in Nazi Germany with her son just days before Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, Hannah knows the dangers of staying any longer than needed. But she can't turn her back on this one little girl, even if it plunges her and her family into danger."
So - where does this leave the box?
To put it simply - I loved it. I love that you're getting second hand books. I love that you're sharing the joy of used books. I also really like the amount of stuff you get in the box. I feel like it was a really good value.
For those of you, however, who aren't interested in a nebulous assessment of value, taking the full price of the books out of the $28 equation, that leaves $12.45 split between the other six items, seven if you include the paper bookmark (which to be fair does cost money to print and should be factored in). This translates to roughly $1.77 per each item, and I know the spoon would go for more than that. Still, even if you played with those values, and put the tea at $2/ bag (and you know there are those of you who have paid more for a cup of tea at Starbucks or some equivalent tea selling store that I wouldn't know the name of, and the spoon at $7, that's already $13 right there, not including the necklace or the bookmark. So - if you were to get these items on your own, yes, you could probably get a better deal on the books, though after factoring in shipping costs, maybe, maybe not. Yes, you could go to the store and buy a box of Lipton and make yourself some sun tea (different from hot tea I know but I'm making a point here), and maybe you'd come out cheaper in the end. But there's also the curation and the lovely packaging that makes it feel as though someone's just sent you a present. It really gave me a boost on a day that I was markedly stressed out, and for that alone I could not love it more. (Which is, in part, why I waited to write the review to make sure that I wasn't just so relieved at having something to brighten my day.) The fact of the matter is, two days after receiving it, I still think it's one of the best subscription boxes out there. I cannot wait until next month. Honestly, I have issues with books. It's a good thing that it only gets sent out once a month, otherwise I would be like one of the lab rats, constantly pressing the button.
I cannot recommend this enough, and that's my personal, biased, but not biased by any company, honest review. If you love books, even if you aren't a tea or a coffee person (you get to pick when you sign up as to one, the other, or both), it's still ever so very worth it!