I’m finally getting around to doing another book subscription box review.
This month, I’m working with I Know Books, a London-based independent company who are fairly new to the market.
I asked Martin, at I Know Books, to tell me more about the company, and this is what he said:
“We’re a husband and wife team and we are book worms. We wanted to start a service which had the element of surprise in what book arrives, but provide a more personalised service. So many subscription boxes are either genre specific or very generic when asking for preferences; often only asking for genre you like. We’ve had some excellent feedback, customers mostly in the UK, but subscriptions from USA, Australia and mainland Europe – All this in just three months.
We offer New Books, Used Books and Kids books. We source our books from the whole market, so we just concentrate on supplying an individually picked book for our customers. We’ve had some excellent feedback and the thumbs up on all our picks!”
I Know Books have three different ‘Book Club’ options:
- Email only – I can’t recall seeing this elsewhere, and I like it as an idea. You complete a survey and each month you receive three book recommendations based on your preferences.
- Monthly New Books – Each month you receive a new book (never read) chosen for you based on your preferences
- Monthly Used Books – Each month you receive a lightly used book chosen for you based on your preferences.
You can either get a one-off box or sign up for rolling monthly, quarterly, or yearly subscriptions.
I received a used book box, and for a used book I was really impressed by the affordable service. On the day I received the box, we were having an awful lot of rain so it did sadly get a bit damp on its journey from the courier’s car to my front door! Nevertheless, it is clearly a lovely box with the quote: “Her reputation for reading a great deal hung about her like the cloudy envelope of a goddess in an epic.” (Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady).
When researching book subscription services, I generally try to go for ‘book only’ options. As I’ve mentioned I don’t want anything else – no candles, no keyrings, no questionably shaped soaps. So this box really appealed to me. On opening it up, I found a range of articles about a particular author, so I immediately guessed what book was contained within (which is fine!).
Additionally, I had a letter telling me about how the book had been chosen for me.
I’ll not rewrite the whole thing, but the analysis of my survey says:
“We chose this book as you seem to have a historical fiction leaning, you like literary fiction but nothing too modern. You also seem to like good stories involving strong women.”
Yes, yes, and YES. That is me in a nutshell! Considering one of the answers to my survey questions was “Apollo 13” (yes, the film with Tom Hanks) I think they did really well.
So what did I get?
I received Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn, which I’m really pleased about! Ever since this book came out (2009) I’ve periodically spotted this book and thought “I really should read that” and now I own a copy so I definitely will. It does appeal to me and I’ve no idea why I’ve not gotten around to reading it before, so I’m keen to get started.
It is Ireland in the early 1950s and for Eilis Lacey, as for so many young Irish girls, opportunities are scarce. So when her sister arranges for her to emigrate to New York, Eilis knows she must go, leaving behind her family and her home for the first time.
Arriving in a crowded lodging house in Brooklyn, Eilis can only be reminded of what she has sacrificed. She is far from home – and homesick. And just as she takes tentative steps towards friendship, and perhaps something more, Eilis receives news which sends her back to Ireland. There she will be confronted by a terrible dilemma – a devastating choice between duty and one great love.
— Taken from Amazon UK
Overall, I am impressed by this box. It is a book box. No gimmicks, no fuss, just a book based on your preferences that you’ll actually want to read. I think it’s a winner.
It’s affordable and I personally think the used book box is excellent value.
Fancy getting the next I Know Books box?
I Know Books are currently offering all their customers 15% off their order when using the code TAKTEE at checkout. This is an offer available on the I Know Books website but for a limited time so make sure you check it out.
This box was provided to me by I Know Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Martin!