Why I’m (Temporarily) Stopping My Owlcrate Subscription

Hi all! It’s time for a fun “Storytime” post! I recently made the decision to take a break from Owlcrate for a little while after I get the August Box. I figured I’d write a post about it, partially to justify my decision to myself lol, but also because it’s an interesting story of how enticing book subscription boxes can be, but how they don’t always live up to your expectations.

No hate to Owlcrate in this post! I really love their boxes. This is definitely a “It’s not you, it’s me” situation! With that, let’s get into my ramble of a Storytime post!


The Story

I’ve been a fan of Owlcrate since August 2018, when I saw spoilers of the Ruthless Royals box. There was a book-shaped Cruel Prince tin, and even though I had yet to read the Folk of the Air trilogy, I was hooked and got my first ever box, which I loved very much. I didn’t stay an active subscriber, as I was very new to subscription boxes and wasn’t yet fully enticed by special editions and feelings of FOMO.

My love of special editions and pretty covers definitely began to get stronger in 2019, especially as I spent more and more time on Bookstagram and bookish groups on Facebook. I scooped up one Owlcrate in April 2019 (I could not resist getting Wicked Saints, are you kidding me?) and then I took another long hiatus until September. I wasn’t even really interested in the theme or book (The Bone Houses, which I ultimately came to enjoy,) but I had to be subscribed to snag a special edition Queen of Nothing Box. And that was the beginning of the end for me, if you will. I told myself that I’d cancel after September… but then they announced that October would have two books… and then they announced that November would have sprayed edges and would come with a blanket and planner! I couldn’t resist, but after November I finally stopped myself for a few months.

Enter 2020. Yes, our favorite year ever, 2020. (Totally being sarcastic there, if you can’t tell.) I asked my mom to get either the March Owlcrate and Fairyloot box for my birthday, and she surprised me with both. I canceled the Fairyloot box as I didn’t like it very much, but I kept the Owlcrate subscription. It was my gateway back into the subscription box world for several months! Every time I wanted to quit, I would always be enticed by the promises for the next month “Sprayed edges?” “A Naked Hardcover Foiled Edition?” “An Item by a Favorite Designer?” “An item from this fandom?” and I’d rationalize it by saying that if I didn’t like the book or items, that I’d sell them off on a facebook Buy/Sell/Trade group. (Much easier said than done.) I’ve definitely enjoyed the March-July boxes and book picks, but there have been some doubts creeping in my head, which contributed to me wanting to stop for a little while.

I believe that in late 2019 or very early on in 2020, Owlcrate took on a new curator to help with dreaming up new ideas and designs for items. Obviously that’s great, as it takes some of the stress off of the founder/main curator to come up with around 5 fun items a month while managing a business and raising a small child. However… ever since the new curator started, the items that she’s worked on haven’t been my favorites. Sure, I liked the bamboo moon banner, and the canvas bags that the straws and banner came in were nice and reusable, but the habit tracker and apron in recent boxes were a bit underwhelming. I’m not alone in this. From what I’ve seen online, the items from the new curator haven’t been fan favorites either. The items in general have become a bit more practical/usable/consumable, while I prefer more decorative display items. It’s totally fine that we have different tastes, but in recent months, Owlcrate has lost some of what made it so special to me.

I came to realize that maybe I should take a little break from Owlcrate for a while. The spooky September these doesn’t appeal to me too much, and while I very well could be enticed again in October or November depending on the book/vendor reveals, I think that taking a break will let me try other subscription boxes, tackle my never-ending TBR pile, and when I do return to Owlcrate, hopefully I’ll feel that magic again! It’ll be good to save a bit of money in the meantime as well. I’ll admit that the pandemic is part of the reason why I kept my subscription, as I wanted to have some monthly joy in the mail, but at around $40 a month, I don’t think that I can justify a monthly subscription anymore. I’ll go back to picking and choosing and skipping boxes if I’m not 100% feeling the book, fandoms, and vendors. Above all, I’m going to stop letting FOMO control me. If I miss out on a cool box, I miss out. There’s nothing that I can’t find later on a B/S/T page, even if it is at a slightly inflated price.

This isn’t a permanent goodbye to Owlcrate by any means! I’ll definitely be back, especially if they do a special edition of How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories. Until then, it’s just a see you later!


Thanks for reading this super long Storytime post! Let me know what you think in the comments below.


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6 thoughts on “Why I’m (Temporarily) Stopping My Owlcrate Subscription

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  1. I get where you’re coming from!! I had a subscription a few years back and while it was so much fun to receive bookish stuff in the mail, 50% of it was from books I hadn’t read or stuff I wouldn’t use and just seemed like a waste to keep, especially for paying a monthly fee and then not even using any of it! I’m interested in trying Fairy Loot but WOW they’re popular and basically always sold out, so fingers crossed for one day!! The “if I miss out, I miss out” attitude is a good one to have, I think! I really enjoyed reading! ♥

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  2. I completely agree with your views! While I don’t completely think it’s the new curator’s fault for the items, there definitely has been a lack of display items. While I love usable and practical items, the oven holders I had in one of my boxes left me feeling a little huh? Cause, I buy boxes mainly for the items to use in my bookstagram photos. Practical items without much flair or design becomes a little bit of a waste of money IMO. But the past two boxes that I’ve seen have been extremely underwhelming, especially the box with Where Dreams Descend. Was so glad I skipped out on that despite the exclusive cover.

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  3. I always feel so tempted by the special edition covers too! I’m personally more of a fan of practical items myself because clutter stresses me out a bit, but I can definitely see the reasons behind preferences for either one! Display items are also nice for future Bookstragram pictures too. I’m curious if they’ll start to balance between display and practical items in the future!

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  4. I hear you! I’ve had a subscription for a while and have only purchased one box from them this year. I have skipped every other one and one reason for that is not being interested in the book but mostly because I haven’t liked the items I have seen them do.

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  5. I’m with you 100%! The quality and the choice of items has really gone downhill. I’ve been an off and on subscriber since late 2016 and I’ve found myself skipping nearly every box over the past 10 months to a year. I wont name names (most of us know who it is, and most bookish people don’t like them from what Ive heard/seen) but I definitely feel like the curator that was added on is not a good fit for OwlCrate. Not to mention the minor scandal they caused by saying if they took on any new workers that would have to live in/around the Vancouver area and then they went ahead a few months later and announced a new curator who was moving to Germany from the US! I did buy the Addie LaRue box but Im not expecting much since the aforementioned curator did most of the box from what I understand. I just really love V.E. Schwab. After they finish out the HP mugs I’m cancelling my sub.

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