PageHabit Literary Fiction Quarterly Review – Summer 2017
PageHabit is a new company offering reading subscription boxes for book lovers of all ages and interests. Fans of book subscription boxes will recognize this subscription as Quarterly’s Literary Fiction box—Quarterly recently acquired Bookly Box and formed PageHabit to help them go deeper with their book subscription offerings. You’ll see that this box still looks a lot like the Quarterly box (and that it features some Quarterly logos, too). But a few months more into the transition and PageHabit’s branding should fully take over. As of this review, you can still subscribe to this box via Quarterly’s site AND PageHabit‘s site.
Each box is curated by a featured author and features a newly released book, plus other books and bookish gifts and goodies to inspire you. There are also annotations from the curator to help you engage with the reading experience in a whole new way.
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: PageHabit’s Literary Fiction Quarterly Box
The Cost: $49.00 per quarter + $5.00 shipping
The Products: 3 books, annotations, and several bookish gifts curated by a different author, delivered quarterly.
Ships to: the U.S.
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Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
This month’s box is curated by author Gin Phillips, whose book Fierce Kingdom is also featured in the box. I like when book boxes include information straight from the author, themselves. Her letter touches upon the thinking and inspiration that went into both her own novel and the other writing she felt should be included in this package.
In absorbing Bookly Box, Quarterly/PageHabit took over Bookly Box’s community-minded initiatives. For the month of July, for example, PageHabit partnered with the Nyarweng Foundation to bring reading materials to struggling people in South Sudan. Awesome!
They also included a bookmark in the box. I’m starting to amass quite a collection of bookmarks from all of the book boxes I’ve been checking out!
Areaware Paper Clips – Value $10.00
The first non-book gift in the box is this set of creatively shaped paper clips from Areaware. Amazon lists them for $10.00, which seems steep for paper clips. I do know that Areaware is a pretty solid brand, so maybe this price is fair for a boutique set of office supplies. Regardless, their tan and burnt-orange colors will look cute alongside the other minimalist office supplies in my desk drawer. I like that you can choose the shape you’d like to use, too—show off the smaller shape or the larger looping shape, depending on which way your clip faces up.
They provide the paper clip equivalent of an artist’s statement on the back of the package, too.
Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips – Value on Amazon $12.21 (Retail Price $25.00)
Let’s start with the featured book of the box. This is a hardcover version of our curator’s new book, Fierce Kingdom. It’s a wrenching story about motherhood and parenting—neither is a topic I’d usually reach for, but I still found these pages compelling.
Book Summary on Amazon:
“Warning: you’ll finish this in one sitting.” –TheSkimm
“Expertly made thriller . . . clever and irresistible.” —The New York Times
An electrifying novel about the primal and unyielding bond between a mother and her son, and the lengths she’ll go to protect him.
The zoo is nearly empty as Joan and her four-year-old son soak up the last few moments of playtime. They are happy, and the day has been close to perfect. But what Joan sees as she hustles her son toward the exit gate minutes before closing time sends her sprinting back into the zoo, her child in her arms. And for the next three hours—the entire scope of the novel—she keeps on running.
Joan’s intimate knowledge of her son and of the zoo itself—the hidden pathways and under-renovation exhibits, the best spots on the carousel and overstocked snack machines—is all that keeps them a step ahead of danger.
A masterful thrill ride and an exploration of motherhood itself—from its tender moments of grace to its savage power—Fierce Kingdom asks where the boundary is between our animal instinct to survive and our human duty to protect one another. For whom should a mother risk her life?
The greatest thing about this subscription is that the author drops little sticky notes inside the book, which add extra context or insight.
There’s also an autographed book plate!
Run by Ann Patchett – Value on Amazon $9.27 (Retail Price $15.99)
The next book this paperback by Ann Patchett. I read Bel Canto and really enjoyed her beautiful prose, so I was excited to see this author featured in the box!
Book Summary on Amazon:
Since their mother’s death, Tip and Teddy Doyle have been raised by their loving, possessive, and ambitious father. As the former mayor of Boston, Bernard Doyle wants to see his sons in politics, a dream the boys have never shared. But when an argument in a blinding New England snowstorm inadvertently causes an accident that involves a stranger and her child, all Bernard cares about is his ability to keep his children—all his children—safe.
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell – Value on Amazon $6.00 (Retail Price $7.99)
The final book in the box was a bit of a surprise. I remember reading this novel in elementary school and falling in love with its adventurous story.
Book Summary on Amazon:
In the Pacific there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it, blue dolphins swim, otters play, and sea elephants and sea birds abound. once, Indians also lived on the island. And when they left and sailed to the east, one young girl was left behind.
This is the story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Year after year, she watched one season pass into another and waited for a ship to take her away. But while she waited, she kept herself alive by building shelter, making weapons, finding food, and fighting her enemies, the wild dogs. It is not only an unusual adventure of survival, but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery.
Fierce Kingdom Tote Bag – Value $12.00?
This promotional tote is the final piece in the box. I just took a guess at the value. It’s a pretty sturdy tote bag for being a mere promotional item. The design on the front is cool, though I’ll have to wait and finish the book to see if I really want to flaunt it!
Verdict: With the author-curated details and attention to giving context and background to the books inside the box, this subscription is definitely designed with readers in mind. I love its community initiative, and I loved the extra gifts. With shipping, the box is just over $50.00 per quarter, and there was right around $50.00 of hard, tangible value in the box. That said, I’d say this box has plenty of intangible value that comes from the engaging author-provided content. So for me, it’s worth it.
What do you think of this PageHabit box?