I have been meaning to get into subscription boxes for a while now. They are literally everywhere I look…on my Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter. Yet, I couldn’t decide which one would be the right one for me. So when I went to YALC in London back in July a lot of people recommended Fairyloot and Nerdy Bookworm Box (NBB from here on), both of which offer fantasy and/or Sci Fi only. I was sold. I read way more fantasy than contemporary so either box was perfect for me. I finally got my first Fairyloot box today so I decided to do a quick comparison for people who are debating between the two. I got both September boxes so I am quite happy to report both Fairyloot and NBB were packed with September releases.
The first point I want to compare is shipping and overall appearance of the boxes. I’ll start with NBB since I received it first. It came incredibly fast. I think I only waited 2 working days after dispatch, which is pretty amazing. The box itself was super cute; pale blue with an owl on top. Fairyloot on the other hand, came today, in a black box that was a little worse for wear. Actually that is an understatement. It was so beat up underneath I was half expecting the contents to be completely squashed. I was a little disappointed, seeing how Fairyloot has the more expensive shipping of the two. Also the slowest. It takes about 5 working days for the box to arrive, which is a far cry from NBB. Winner: NBB. Faster AND cheaper shipping. Plus the box was relatively intact.
A big drawing point for me when choosing a book subscription box is…well, the book. The book is and should be the center point in any such boxes. As stated above, both boxes came in with September releases. Fairyloot has chosen a hardcover of Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter, which came out on 20th Sept. It also came with a letter from Fairyloot and a signed bookplate. NBB on the other hand, have decided to go with early copies of the UK paperback of Three Dark Crowns and an official TDC postcard. Now, I understand different boxes came with different covers of the paperback, however, it is still a paperback. Winner: Fairyloot. More bang for you buck plus that bookplate is a nice addition.
Both Fairyloot and NBB have included candles in their September boxes. While Fairyloot has gone with their ‘in-house’ Castle of Fables, NBB had a Meraki candle. The Castle of Fables candle was packaged beautifully in a nice see through jar that showed off the gorgeous purple color of the candle. If that’s not enough, it smells delicious!! The candle in NBB came in a tin can that was beat up on the side and impossible to open. I had to use a can opener to remove the lid!! All this could have been overlooked if the candle was nice. Sadly, it wasn’t. It had a strong floral scent that vaguely reminded me of children mixing their mothers’ perfumes. Winner: Fairyloot
Something else both boxes have in common this month: notebooks. NBB had an A6 Queen of Hearts notebook from Neon Magpie while Fairyloot had an A5 Grisha notebook from Literary Emporium that looks and feels stunning. Winner: Fairyloot. Better craftsmanship and a bigger notebook.
Onto bookmarks, Fairyloot has included an exclusive Vassa in the Night bookmark from Behind the Pages, while NBB has a generic one with this month’s theme on it. Winner: Fairyloot
Both boxes have included information about the authors but while Fairyloot has chosen to go with a very sad looking flyer, NBB has their own ‘magazine’, which I quite enjoyed reading. Winner: NBB. Their format has given them freedom to include an interview with Kendare Blake. Plus it looks much better.
The Grisha poster inside Fairyloot is much sturdier and better looking than the flimsy NBB one so this round goes to the winner: Fairyloot.
Each box also came with stickers inside and while I enjoyed the cute, little Disney princesses from Plannable Designs, the Fairyloot single sticker is so unremarkable I have already lost track of it. Seriously, I have no idea where it went! Winner: NBB
Sadly, apart from a mini Funko with Anna from Frozen, this was pretty much everything from the NBB box, while Fairyloot also came with four Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom postcards, a Russian doll necklace from Pastel Clouds, V. E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic buttons and their exclusive buddy read card. This and the fact that it offers a hardcover book is why Fairyloot is the overall winner. While, NBB is slightly cheaper, emphasis on slightly, you get more items for your money with Fairyloot and if they can try and offer better deals on shipping it will be the one I’ll personally stick with. I’m not even that bothered about the price of the shipping as much as the time it takes for the box to arrive!!!