If you love books and love the idea of someone, somewhere picking out exactly what you should be reading, book subscription services sound like… the right twist in the tale. Partial to mystery, or politics? There’s a box for you. Swooning over young adult literature at the moment? There’s a curated box for that as well. “Subscription boxes ensure you only get books you do not have,” says Kavita Singh, founder of Kaffeinated Konversations. “There is a different theme each month and we keep dropping hints about the theme throughout the month so excitement stays high.” Pick the box you like and spend 2017 discovering titles you wouldn’t have heard of otherwise.
1. For lesser-known authors
Kaffeinated Konversations sends you books of relatively unknown Indian authors such as Neil D’Silva and Sutapa Basu every month. “Themes include genres such as crime, romance and mystery,” says founder Kavita Singh. “We’ll have south Asian and African authors soon.”
When Hanisha Shah, 26, a marketing executive from Colaba, signed in for a subscription she was asked her preferences. “Since do not like crime novels, my box for the month that had crime as a theme was replaced with thrillers, which I prefer,” she says. “The choices are flexible and feature many new authors.”
The boxes are also customised for special occasions and birthdays. They did one for Novel Writing Month in November. There’s one coming up that will be delivered by Valentine’s Day as well. “You get to choose books, get personalised bookmarks and can add gifts to the book box,” says Singh.
To subscribe: Visit Kaffeinated Konversations.
Cost: From Rs 1,200 for 3-4 books.
2. For unusual themes
From new stories about classical heroes to books with happy endings, the Bibliobox has a special focus every month. “If one book, for instance, The Girl on Train, falls under two themes – psychological thriller and crime fiction, we put it in the theme to which it relates best,” says Gazala, one of the founders, who only goes by one name. Paula Hawkins’s book, then, is categorised as a psychological thriller (without giving the game away).
The service offers a basic theme box of two to three books and will let you upgrade (up to 11 titles) or customise by adding on or substituting books.
They celebrated Children’s Day in November with a books featuring child protagonists. “With the year-ender box, they planned to offer three books, a memory jar and book-themed calendar,” says Tathagata Bansal, a 29-year-old physician from Andheri. “They added one extra book and reduced the merchandise as I wasn’t very interested in it.”
They also offer customised boxes for special occasions.
To subscribe: Visit The Bibliobox
Cost: From Rs 1,350 for 2-3 books.
3. For just-released gems
StoryTrunk’s bi-monthly boxes are filled with Young Adult novels and are meant for readers of all ages. They focus mostly on new books so you don’t have to worry about getting one you’ve read already. “The genre is popular in India but the books are not easily available at stores, especially titles by new authors,” says Sangavi Rathinasabapathi, founder. “We want to focus on the category and help new authors establish themselves and also give readers a chance to experiment.”
The goodies in the box include stationery, candles, chocolates and tote bags. Their December box, themed Rad Girls, focused on outrageous literature. It included the top-rated NeverNight by Jay Kristoff.
To subscribe: Visit Storytrunk.com
Cost: From Rs 1,399 for 2-3 books.