Ever since I purchased my first book subscription box (Illumicrate whose review can be found here Subscription: Illumicrate Box, May Edition) I have been intrigued by the concept and, I must admit, have become slightly obsessed. I just love the excitement when I walk through the door and see it waiting for me and the suspense when unwrapping it, wondering what bookish adventures lie in wait for me.
Prudence and the Crow popped up on the search engine while I was looking for British book subscriptions. They dub themselves ‘The Vintage Book Subscription Box’ and offer five genres to choose from for your subscription; these are classic fiction, science fiction, children, classic thriller and random. I paid the one off payment of £15 (you can choose to pay £15 a month for a regular subscription too) and I opted for the random option because I thought it would offer me more choice than the other genres, I mean it kind of broadened the book horizon for me.
So, it arrived today and it came in a standard brown parcel which was pretty standard. However, as soon as I opened it I was greeted with this:-
I adored this, it was so personal and absolutely beautiful. I am a sucker for vintage styles and completely fell in love with this. I opened the envelope and took out the contents, of which there were a few.
First thing I noticed was the Jelly Tots and instantly thought ‘I’m on to a winner here!’ and I began to peruse my contents, addressing the adorable mini envelope first:-
The contents of this envelope were quite, well, random (it becomes a theme with this box). I loved the teabags because I’m at my happiest with a book and a cup of tea in hand and I liked the little random vintage information cards, however, what’s the balloon got to do with anything?
I thought it was such a lovely touch sending a library card with the box because it really adds to the vintage feel and, if you’re extremely geeky (which I am) you may find yourself using it. The ‘Amazing Stories’ postcard really is a blast from the past and I thought it was a lovely touch that there are reading recommendations from Prudence and another from the Crow. The doilies are very cute but, once again, unsure of their purpose in my life.
Yeah…so…the fan has a lovely pattern but, unfortunately that’s as far as it goes. It is like a fan you would get out of a cracker or a lucky dip at a fair because it is just so cheap and I have no doubt that it will break very soon. The cocktail umbrella will look great in my cup of tea.
Look how lovely this book wrapping is! It is in fact a fabric pouch which I thought was innovative and I liked that I could declare ownership of my book with this card.
So, which book was in the pouch I hear you ask?
*crickets chirping* ummm…yeah.
Let me explain: one of the requirements for the random genre was to write down favourite authors, favourite genres etc to give the company an idea of what to send you. One of my favourite authors is Agatha Christie which I naturally wrote down so, my question is, knowing that this amazing writer is one of my favourite authors, why send me her most famous book which I would have read, being such a fan? It was actually the book that introduced me to her work and, although I do understand that there is no way they could have known, it is possibly her most famous book so it isn’t the best choice to send to someone who has openly stated to reading and loving her books.
Needless to say I was very deflated by this and, although you pay £15 for the entire box, it basically is the book that you are most looking forward to. I know this is a vintage book subscription, however, my copy isn’t a nice vintage copy as I expected, in fact it openly has 25 written on the top right hand corner which leads me to believe it cost 25p to buy. This leads me on to my next question, what did I pay £15 for?
Prudence and the Crow is a business and, of course, it needs to make a profit but, as the consumer, I want to feel that I am getting my money’s worth and I really don’t feel I did with this. I felt there was no thought behind the box and the items were just spotted, grabbed and thrown together. There was no real thought behind my book choice, unlike the Willoughby Book Club (review here Subscription: The Willoughby Book Club; May Edition) and many of the items in this box were of very cheap quality, for example my book that cost 25p, the fan, the paper doilies, the cocktail umbrella, the balloon and the pack of Jelly Tots. I believe this box could have been done a lot cheaper.
Although I feel this box may not truly reflect the boxes of Prudence and Crow, it may have been an off month, I won’t be repurchasing another one. This is mainly due to the fact that I am a huge classic literature fan and have a fair share of them already in my collection. I can’t pay £15 every month in the confidence that I won’t get a book that I already own. This box will be really good for those who enjoy modern fiction and are looking to get into classic books, this box will really build up your collection!
So, that’s my take on this box. If you know of anymore subscription boxes and you want me to review them, just let me know in the comments!
Oh, by the way, I have a spare Murder on the Orient Express if anyone wants it 😉