Category Archives: Fun Stuff

The Best Book Subscription Boxes

If you’ve dipped even your little toe in the murky waters of social media recently, I’ll bet that you’ve seen an advert for some kind of subscription service. From make up to meat, surprises to sanitary towels (no, really) it seems that there’s a subscription box for almost everything, though until recently a monthly box for book lovers has been a pipe dream for those in the UK.

But no more! There are now a wide range of book subscription services for bookworms in the UK, so you don’t have to pay a huge postage fee to enjoy a monthly book box from across the pond. And, dare I say it, it seems to me that UK bookworms actually have a more grown up selection of book subscription packages to choose from?

I’ve selflessly gone out of my way to test a few of these (best month ever) and am able to give you a round-up of the best book subscription boxes the UK has to offer. Curated by small teams of imaginative, talented and hardworking bookworms, they really are all fantastic:

Bookishly

bookishly subscription unboxing review

If you’ve ever had wall art envy for an amazing framed literary quote, you’ve probably come across a print from Bookishly. They’ve recently branched out from creating word art with Vintage books and have created a book club that sends out a monthly package containing a vintage book, a luxury tea sample from Jenier World of Tea and a curated item of stationery. If you know a bookworm who loves to curl up with an old book and a cup of tea before writing a thank you note on beautiful stationery, then the Bookishly book subscription is the gift for them. Or you, if you fit that description.

 

Illumicrate

illumicrate subscription unboxing review

Curated by Daphne at Winged Reviews, Illumicrate is the new heavyweight on the book subscription box market and it really packs a punch. Filled with items that match the Illumicrate ethos of “fun, beautiful and geeky” this larger subscription box is released monthly. The perfect gift for a reader who is passionate about their contemporary and young adult literature, the former teacher in me also thinks it would be the perfect way to lure a reluctant reader into exploring literary worlds.

 

Owl and Bear Gift Company

owl and bear gift company book subscription review

If you’re looking for a special gift for a loved one but don’t necessarily share their literary tastes, the Owl and Bear Gift Company Book Subscription service can help you out. Specialists in genre book subscriptions, they have a package to tickle every bookworm’s fancy whether they are young or old, or if their passion is for horror, thrillers or romance. If you’re not even sure exactly what kind of books your intended recipient prefers, they can still help you out with their bespoke subscription service which builds a package based on the recipient’s favourite authors.

 

The Willoughby Book Club

willoughby book club subscription review unboxing

Founded by Adam and Chloe Pollard in 2012, The Willoughby Book Club provides a personalised book subscription service with some really clever package options. Not only do they provide a Contemporary and Classic packages for those who want to hone their reading in a particular direction, they also provide hobby subscription packages for cooks, gardeners and natural historians. The Willoughby package I like the sound of most is, sadly, not for me… The Couples Book Club package which sends out two copies of the same novel so that you can read it together and discuss it. My boyfriend may make wonderful cups of tea and buy me the books I am embarrassed to be seen with in bookshops, but a reader he is not! Still, I think it would make a great gift to share with a close friend and it really is a genius idea.

The call of the wild in a bookish tent

A meadow near a river on a hot summer’s day. I’d have a picnic, a jug of Pimms, a good book and this tent to shade my freakishly pale skin from the midday sun. Bliss. I am so tempted to splash out.

I want, I admire, but I will resist.

Please Santa, I’ve been so good- Fully Booked Tent

Hilarious quotes from book reviews

Following on from my old post about the best book Tumblr pages, I have come across this gem which takes funny(and often stupid) quotes from one star reviews around the internet and shares them along with the cover of the book in question. Some of my favourites include:

“This book reads like a series of Twitter posts by an arrogant alcoholic hanging around with his irresponsible alcoholic friends.” Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises

“Where was Egor?” Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

“This book not only ruined a week at the beach but also damaged my self-esteem.” James Joyce’s Ulysses

and

“Mr. Beowulf should be required to repeat his nighttime writer’s class at the learning annex.” Beowulf

Bedtime Reading for Baby Geniuses

Jane Austen Emma Cosy Classic

Emma by Jane Austen for “younger readers”

iconLast night I was browsing on Not On The High Street for some non-chocolate Easter eggs for my nieces and nephew and came across something that made me giggle in a really geeky bookworm way. Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to introduce classic literature adapted for babies, aka The Cosy Classics. They are described as a ” popular board book series that presents well-loved stories through twelve child friendly words and twelve needle felted illustrations.” I say- amazing.

My sister studied Emma as part of her AS Level in English Literature and hated it, so I feel that a Cosy Classic of this text would be an ideal gift for her daughter. Bedtime stories for baby geniuses, or their parents, the series includes such classics as Jane Eyre, Les Miserables, Moby DickOliver Twist and Pride and PrejudiceI might even buy myself War and Peace as it’s the only way I’m ever likely to read it!

Life in a Fairytale House

In case you haven’t seen it doing the rounds on Facebook and other social media sites, you should definitely check out Being Somewhere, the website of Simon Dale who built a fairytale house (which they call the Hobbit house) for his family in Wales for around £3,000. Simon believes in building “simple shelters that are in harmony with the natural landscape, ecologically sound and are a pleasure to live in.” I think everyone will agree that it looks incredible.

Image courtesy of http://simondale.net/hobbit.htm under the Creative Commons license.

This man is my current hero. I’m having enough trouble to get my boyfriend to agree to me putting in a small wildflower/meadow lawn in our back garden, let alone getting him to build me a Bilbo Baggins’ burrow in the woods…

Getting on trend with a #shelfie

Good morning all, it’s currently ten minutes to six in the morning and I have been awake since 3:30 am thanks to some idiot screaming, “Ian!!!” outside my bedroom window for far too long. To distract myself from the dark thoughts that I have been having about whoever Ian and his would-be hailer were, I’ve decided to get in on the Shelfie act that my friends keep telling me about and share with you a shelfie of my living room bookcase the dining room and landing you don’t get to see because we’re decorating so they are piled with all kinds of non-book nonsense.

Shelfie

My all time favourite personal shelfie (yes, I may have taken more than one) is this one I took in 2008 when my boyfriend and I had just moved in together and my very literary guinea pig decided that he had a new favourite hangout.

Guinea pig shelfie

Bookshop brilliantly parodies John Lewis Christmas Advert 2013

You may already have heard, but if you haven’t Christmas is officially six weeks today and UK shops are rolling out their blockbuster adverts in the hope of stealing John Lewis’ crown. This year, the John Lewis Partnership (brief side note- am I the only person who finds the Partnerships’ sociolect a little cult-like?) have splashed out a reported £7 million on an old school Disney-style epic of an advert, following the improbable friendship of a bear and hare, which has been doing the rounds on the internet under #BearAndHare. If you’ve managed to avoid it so far, it can be viewed here:

 

What caught my attention though, was this slightly surreal parody from Waterstones Oxford Street, The Hare With the Amber Eyes and A Bear Named Pooh. If Rosie Huntington-Whiteley inspired you to experiment with the unusual this Christmas in her trip down the rabbit hole for Marks and Spencer, then you should definitely watch this for a whole new level of brilliantly weird:

Literary Pumpkins- Bookish Inspiration for Halloween

When my brother send me a picture of this pumpkin based on the one ring in Lord of The Rings, he started something of an obsession…. my heart melted a bit. All I knew was that I loved it, I wanted it, I neeeds it…. my precioussss pumpkin…

LOTR pumpkin with inscription from the one ring

I realised I needed to seek more bookish pumpkin fun and came across this brilliant post from A Book Lover’s Diary of 20 Pumpkin Carvings Inspired By Books. These have been made by grandmasters. They are not for the likes of me to try carving at home. I’ll have to cheat something like these cute (but under carved) pumpkins inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven from Country Living and Etsy

What are the best literary pumpkins you’ve come across?